The temporary station in Wroclaw is a challenge - just a crowd of people waiting outside until the track is posted, usually less than five min before the train is to leave. Luckily it was not raining.
Train stops about 20 min from our stop in the middle of nowhere... Announcements of stops have been in English also but this issue seems beyond the English capabilities of the conductors.
we sit for 10 min and they say in German (per some passengers we asked) that they have to wait to get some people off the track. Bill immediately thinks the worst and goes to the back of the train to see if we ran over someone, figuring that will take a long investigation....but nothing can be seen.
Later an announcement that we will be at our next stop in 10 min. About 10 min later they announce it will be about 30 min. Once we get there we have to catch an S-Bahn (city train) to the main train station and then our train to Paris. We had almost 2 hours to do those two things, now down to 80-90 min, really hoping we get going soon....
Got there about 40 min late and the s-Bahn train to the Hauptbahnhof came within minutes of our arrival, and we were in Berlin with plenty of time to find our City Night Line train to Paris.
So this time we actually got comfort class with a bathroom and shower - but the water didn't work...at least the breakfast was better...
Unknown to us in Germany, the French rail workers were striking in protest to the attack on a train worker in a random act of violence, evidently. So upon waking up within France we got the news that we had to detour a bit and would take about an extra hour of riding around the beautiful French countryside - including going right near our hotel for the night.... We really didn't mind as we had no connections to make. On arrival in Paris we decided not to try to make it out near our hotel by train due to the strike and we took a taxi for the half hour drive. We thought taxis would be in great demand but both the train station and taxi stand were mostly deserted.
So, Ermenonville, our last stop. It was fun to walk around and see the town, where we had last visited in 1993.
We found Le Prieure, where we had stayed in 1993, right next to the church - originally the priory. It is now converted to apartments.
Turns out the man who owned it had died, then then his wife was killed in the 1990 Air France flight crash coming from Brazil. We learned this from the owner of the restaurant where we ate. We happened to have walked through the graveyard and found her marker and those of the two young women who had been on the trip with her. New owners decided to turn it into apartments.
The grave marker of the woman from Le Prieure
The graveyard was full of very old graves mostly, including some with a sign warning about those that are not kept up (probably payments not kept up?)
Bill's favorite - we wondered about this one, it was a used target sheet inside glass on the stone...It only says here lies the body of Jean Francois Richarz, who died 16 Feb 1877 in his 85th year...
The creperie where we ate in 1993 - not much has changed Katie, do you remember this place? It wasn't all that good then but Bill kind of wanted to see if it still was disappointing (he had been searching for French crepes in 1993)
but we found a newer restaurant with the wonderful. And her interesting shop and garden restaurant, featuring very interesting teas and all organic foods.
Quiche - Bill's with figs and bacon and mine with asparagus and salmon (but reversed in the picture) - the cups are our tea
And it came with dessert sampler, all homemade.
We bought some tea
Bill's wondered what this is - anyone know? Mike? He's pointing at a switch or lever...
This time we stayed in the very old, Chateau d'Ermenonville, a beautiful old palace dating back to the middle ages, with most of the current building being redone in the early 1700's. It has an interesting history and was famous for it's beautiful and huge gardens, much of which are now a park named after author Jean Jacques Rousseau who spent his last six weeks here in 1778 and is buried in the property. Henri XI often visited in the 1400's, along with a long list of named you would recognize including Jeanne d'Arc in 1429.
A little worn to be called a luxury hotel but very lovely place with a top restaurant,
The gardens, swans and a tree I just liked...
This was like our view out our window but taken from below in the restaurant.
In the hotel
our last big dinner, we figured a two days early celebration of the 40th anniversary of the day we met.
My appetizer with lobster, cream, and the little thing was some kind of shell fish
Bill had A mushroom soup
This course had some sort I'd fish in it, liked it a lot, Bill did not
My entree - scallops with two kinds of beets - I don't like beets but I liked these
Bill's lamb, bulgar and sweet potatoes
Sebastian brings the cheese cart
Not sure what this was - we figured it was dessert but that came later
My dessert - orange, chocolate and something else...
So when we turned down coffee and said we were done, the final sweets came
Two shots of a swan at night lit by the flood lights
What meal to have right before coming home and having to weigh myself....
And we are off to the airport the next morning...