October 9, 2012

To The Fortress!

Everybody should go, right?

I have been trying to find ways to make a visit to Blandy-les-Tours (translation: Blandy-the-Towers) happen since last year. Tanya and I can recall a very rainy day that the bus driver totally didn't stop for us and we had to wait even longer to not get to Blandy, and we gave up and just returned to Melun.

Alas, the day finally arrived that Marc and I could pull it off together! It was actually a perfect day: the weather, our energy levels, and the buzz of our neighborhood were all dancing together under the scent of flaky pastries from the bakery. I am so serious. It was a day full of Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah moments.

We spent a wonderful peaceful afternoon in the quaint village of Blandy. The "city" is built entirely around the castle and the old church, where we casually enjoyed our picnic lunch and snacks in front of the ancient walls.

We had the time to take a stroll through the small neighborhood where we found an abandoned house, a cranky old dog, several ivy covered walls, and a volleyball net in the middle of a field.


The fortress itself had a bizarre art exhibit going on (titled "The Marriage of Heaven and Hell," and yes, it was extreme and weird, as the name suggests), but we ignored the strange decor and amused ourselves with climbing the five towers. Blandy-les-Tours was built in the 1200s, and changed ownership throughout the centuries to finally land in the hands of the tourists, like most great homes.

The latest in Baguettes and Arrows.
So we scaled the spiraling steps, took in the high views, and of course acted like we were defending our land with the castle. It helped that we had inspiration from Louis L'Amour's radically awesome book The Walking Drum. You will read this book, if you know what's good for you and your imagination and your life and your happiness. Does it sound important? Good, because it is.

After our fortress escapades, we hopped onto, then off of the bus to give Marc his first Vaux-le-Vicomte experience. We were getting tired at this point, so we only went through the main portion of the gardens and passed our time happily at the outdoor cafe.

Even though it was my fourth time at the chateau, it was the first time I'd seen it without the scaffolding covering the entire dome! I was finally able to get some up close photos of how beautiful the mansion really is.

And of course, it's always a great day when there's a jumping shoot!

And yet, the adventure has only just begun.

(For those of you who will do your homework and READ THE BOOK.)

(OR for those of you who will come see us and everything else!)

Lou Messugo