Paris in the Spring: 1994
Day Trips

By train from the Montparnasse station, the trip down to Chartres takes only a little more than an hour from Paris. It's a day trip that should not be missed. The Cathedral, one of the greatest tourist sights in France, rises high above the plain and can be clearly seen from miles outside the city. Although the cathedral must be the center of a tourist's attention, we found that Chartres has many other attractions.

Malcolm Miller

Malcolm Miller is an Englishman who has been living in Chartres for many years writing and conducting his tours of the cathedral and its stained glass. Our only regret concerning Malcolm Miller is that we did not arrive early enough to take two of his tours on the day of our visit. All of his tours are a little different; he chooses different windows to use for the illustrations in his stories, and teaches his audience how a medieval pilgrim would have been able to read and understand the glass. During parts of the winter, he tours other countries and gives lectures about Chartres, but if you are there at any other time of year, don't miss this special treat.

St. Germain-en-Laye lies a few miles west of Paris and can be reached by RER train. St. Germain once played an important role in the history of France, but its importance now, even as a tourist attraction, has greatly diminished. The castle has been converted into a museum of antiquities that might be interesting to some. But more interesting to us was the walk along the garden terrace behind the castle. From the belvedere, one has a great long range view of Paris and its suburbs.

St. Germain-en-Laye

Reaching Malmaison by public transportation takes a little planning (and maybe even a little luck), but the effort is worth it. Malmaison was Josephine's home after her divorce from Napoleon. It is well-furnished with a melange of his and hers, Napoleon's and Josephine's. By the way, the name (House of Sickness) was given to the home because it was built on the site of a former leper colony. It was almost free of other tourists, and we had the chance to wander about and take our time.

The City
Pack Your Bags Homepage - Travel Albums Index