Friday, August 7, 2009

Going Medieval, uh, 19th Century, On You

We were feeling a little monumented- and museumed-out after the last few days. And our feet badly needed a day of minimal walking. So, we decided to take a drive.

First, I must note that driving in Paris is just about as crazy as you might expect. Well over half the intersections occur with three or more roads crossing, and scooter drivers are just plain nuts. People who look perfectly normal, commuting to work, seem to be auditioning for the X Games. I was glad to get out of the city (and back in) without killing anybody.

So, we headed about 45 minutes north to Senlis, which is a town still looking much like medieval days, albeit with lots of nice boucheries and cafes. There happened to be a street market, and we bought a few things to nibble on as we strolled.

After lunch, we headed another 45 minutes north to the castle at Pierrefomds. The original 14th Century castle was almost completely destroyed in a siege in the 17th Century. It sat that way until Napoleon III had it rebuilt to original specs in the late 19th Century. So, it was a medieval castle and yet it wasn't.

To the boys, however, it was awesome. A day in a castle was just what the doctor ordered. We even bought them foam swords, and they battled in the courtyard--probably not unlike the children did 500 years ago (although back then, the swords were probably not extruded).

We finished it all off with some pizza, to further indulge the boys. Nonetheless, Quin has developed a case of homesickness. We're going to hunt down some Legos for him tomorrow, hoping that may raise his spirits.

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