Our Time in Les Andelys and Le Pecq

Return to International Travel – Introduction
Review: SWISS A340-300 ORD-ZRH and Marhaba Lounge ZRH
Lodging Review: Sina Villa Medici, Florence, Italy
Our Time In Florence, Part 1
Our Time In Florence, Part 2
Lodging Review: Park Hyatt Vendome, Paris, France
Our Time In Paris, Part 1 (Louvre, Sainte-Chappelle, Arc, Eiffel Tower)
Our Time In Paris, Part 2 (Versailles)
Our Time In Paris, Part 3 (Catacombs, Musee d’Orsay)
Viking Kari and an Afternoon in Montmartre
Our Time in La Roche-Guyon and Vernon/Giverny
Our Time on the Normandy Beaches
Our Time in Les Andelys and Le Pecq
Lodging Review: Renaissance Republique, Paris, France
Review: Air France A350 CDG-ORD

Les Andelys

Our next port of call was the town of Les Andelys. This quaint town was founded in the 6th century and its church has parts that date to the 13th, 14th and 15th centuries. I recall touring it but apparently did not take photographs. I would have enjoyed touring the town more but with my knee situation I slowly walked with the group to the chateau.

Château Gaillard was the primary attraction for this stop. It was a medieval castle and its ruins now overlook the town.

Chateau from the town

We stopped at a display of what the castle looked like in its heyday and it was quite impressive.

The walk up to the castle ruins is fairly steep for a generic walk. It is paved most of the way but as you near the top the paving stops. If you have issues walking up hills, this is not the attraction for you. I was glad we had our audio devices because the guide was quite far ahead of me at times yet I was still able to hear his commentary.

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Construction of the chateau began under the direction of Richard the Lionheart who was both King of England and Duke of Normandy at the time. It took just two years to build and used the principle of concentric fortification. There were three separate enclosures surrounded by moats and the keep was at the center. It also utilized machicolations, which are openings in the floor that would allow hot oil to flow down on to those trying to breach the castle.

After Richard’s death, King John failed to defend Normandy and the castle was eventually under siege by and then captured by King Philip II.

Le Pecq

Our final port of call was Le Pecq which is just 12 miles west of Paris. From here we boarded motor coaches to visit the Château de Malmaison, it was Josephine’s home and Napoleon’s last residence in France. The chateau is easy to reach from Paris though it doesn’t appear to be near any public transit.

Château de Malmaison

Josephine bought the residence in 1799 for herself and Napoleon while he was away fighting in Egypt. He was furious she spent so much money on a place that needed so much renovation. But they both came to love the place and it is here that she spent her final days after her divorce until her death in 1814. She brought rare and exotic plants and animals to the garden and even a heated orangery.

Here are some things I found interesting:

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In the end

With my bum knee I probably should not have made the trip up to Château Gaillard. It was nice and I realize Viking needed something for us to see but if I’d just looked at my friend’s photos I probably would have been fine.

I enjoyed the visit to Château de Malmaison more, not only because it was easier to navigate, but because there was simply more to see.

As it turned out, we spent an extra night docked in Le Pecq instead of finding our way back to Viking’s main port at Pont du Grenelle. There was a strike of some sort and the folks who worked on the river locks were striking in sympathy for one day. For the people who were flying out the next day, we were told we were about the same distance from the airport, just on the other side. But we were staying an extra day in Paris so we had to shell out quite a bit more for the car service to take us to our hotel.

Categories: Attraction Review, Cruises, Europe, France, Historical Site, Tours, Trip Report, Viking | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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