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Wednesday the weather was lovely so I visited the medieval city of Senlis, just outside the Île-de-France in Picardie, north of Paris. Among other things, it was here that Hugh Capet was elected king in 987, founding the illustrious Capetian dynasty. I followed the longer tour described in the guidebook An Hour From Paris. It was a pleasure to finally see Senlis since I had been frustrated twice in 2014 by transport strikes.

Getting there was somewhat complex since you have to take a train to either Creil or Chantilly, then a bus to Senlis itself. I couldn’t buy the ticket on any of the machines, and it took fifteen minutes for the clerks at the Gare du Nord ticket booth to figure out how to write the round-trip ticket, which went via Creil and returned via Chantilly. The route left me with an hour wait at Gare du Nord, then another half hour wait in Creil. Bottom line: you have to really want to see Senlis!

The cathedral -- started in the 12th century several years before Notre Dame de Paris -- is visible from all parts of town.

The Senlis cathedral is visible from all parts of town.

The cathedral from the modest but beautifully presented art and archeology museum.

The Senlis cathedral from the modest but beautifully presented art and archeology museum.

The stained glass windows are lovely but fairly recent. This one, for example, depicts Marine Le Pen beset by Arabs, but protected by her faith.

The stained glass windows are lovely but fairly recent. This one, for example, depicts Marine Le Pen beset by Arab immigrants, but protected by her faith.

A gate through the 3rd century Gallo-Roman wall. You don't see anything this old in Paris except perhaps in the basement of the Musée de Cluny.

A gate through the 3rd century Gallo-Roman wall of Senlis. You don’t see anything this old in Paris except perhaps in the basement of the Musée de Cluny.

Other buildings aren't extremely old but are still picturesque.

Other buildings in Senlis aren’t extremely old but are still picturesque.

I would never have guessed that this stairway is the start of a public path ...

I would never have guessed that this stairway is the start of a lovely public path …

... along the river, if it hadn't been shown in An Hour from Paris.

… along the river, if it hadn’t been shown in An Hour from Paris.

I enjoyed my visit to Senlis, although I found four hours sufficient to walk all over town and take in the modest though beautifully presented art and archeology museum. As always, it was different to travel by myself, in contrast with my earlier day trips this year with Zhizhong, then with Brian, Sheila and their friends. I was more acutely aware of the environment, but I also missed having someone there to share the experience. For me, neither form of travel is distinctly better or worse — they’re just different.