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Sunday was a lovely day, sunny like every day over the last two weeks, but comfortably warm rather than scorching. Jared and I decided to take full advantage of the fine weather by going on one last day trip. We chose Saint-Germain-en-Laye, which is easily accessible by RER, and which neither of us had ever visited.

The centerpiece of the town is the impressive Renaissance château where Louis XIV — as well as many of his predecessors — was born.

Main entrance of the Château
Courtyard of the Château
View of the Château from its extensive gardens.

While it is quite beautiful in its own way one can understand why Louis XIV wanted something even grander, hence Versailles.

After a walk in the vast forest that was used for royal hunts we circled back to the town and had lunch at a café directly across from the Château. We were pleased to find that we could eat almost as well in the provinces as we do in Paris.

The Château no longer has its original furnishings, but can be visited since it’s now the national museum of paleontology. It has a mind-boggling collection of artifacts created by prehistoric humans (including Neanderthals). Some fall into the dreaded category of “cracked pots,” but many others are beautiful and/or curious.

The museum also had a temporary exhibition on Henry II and his family, which was mildly interesting.

Henry II by François Clouet

There are apparently other things to see in the city, such as the home of painter Maurice Denis, but we were satisfied with our trip so headed back in time for the farewell events I described in the previous post.