Three-Country Europass '95
Chenonceau to Paris

To reach Chenonceau by train takes a little bit of work. The Chenonceaux Station (note the spelling of the name of the town) lies on the line between Tours and Vierzon. The schedule for the intermediate stops is not in Thomas Cook. The station lies between Chenonceaux village and another village, and the walk to either the village or the chateau is more than a mile. If you wish to visit just the chateau (and are arriving from Tours), take the road that lies directly across the tracks and to the right. Chenonceaux' station
Chenonceau By the time we walked to the village and got our rooms, we were extremely tired; but both of us agreed that Chenonceau was worth all the effort. This was our first visit to any of the chateaux of the Loire, and now that we have visited many of the others, Chenonceau remains our favorite. Part of the reason that we like it so much may be due to the wonderful stories about its owners. If you plan a visit, be sure to read as much as possible about it ahead of time. The stories of the ladies who lived at Chenonceau provide more fascinating reading than many novels. 
On this visit to Paris, we stayed at the Hotel des Jardin des Plantes. It's a nice hotel in the 5th from which we could easily walk to our favorite street in this part of Paris, the rue Mouffetard. Rue Mouffetard heads downhill from an area behind the Pantheon for several blocks. In the mornings, the entire street becomes a market with all the colors, the smells, and the sounds that we enjoy so much. In the evenings, the main attraction is the selection of inexpensive ethnic restaurants that line the street. Rue Mouffetard
Square du Vert Galant The statue of Henry IV stands almost like a guardian on the western point of the Ile de la Cite. The little park was completely empty on the day we visited, a sharp contrast to the crowds in the square in front of Notre Dame just three minutes away. The life of Henry IV, this most pragmatic king, also provides interesting reading for anyone who plans to visit France. Knowing about the individuals behind the monuments makes all our visits so much more interesting.  Without the preparation, the monuments and statues are lifeless bits of stone or metal; but just a couple of hours of reading can turn those statues into something real. 
As many times as I have seen Notre Dame from this vantage point, it still moves me. I suppose that the people who live in Paris and walk by these sights every day must become immune to them, just as we become immune to all the things that we see while driving to work every day. Many times I arrive at work without actually remembering a single thing I saw on that particular morning. Can it be that in Paris the postcard salesman who walks across this bridge every day relegates Notre Dame to a similar unimportant spot in his brain? Painting Notre Dame

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