For the past couple of months we have been scampering around visiting places on our must-see list because a deadline looms: our Paris adventure is coming to an end! Very soon we will be on our way down-under, homeward bound. There are so many experiences to remember and stories to tell about living in Paris for the last four years, but for now let me show you the highlights of our last minute visits…..
As soon as the first hint of spring could be felt we got started on our list with a day trip out to Chateau Chantilly.
I was especially keen to see the room famous for its monkey drawings. These are the drawings that inspired Annie Bouquet (the tapestry artist I met when I was working on the Stitching up Paris book) to create her special collection of monkey tapestries. The artist Christophe Huet did the paintings in the mid 1730s for the Duc de Bourbon in the spirit of poking fun at the duc and his pastimes. The walls are completely covered with enchanting images of monkeys dressed like humans and engaged in human activities.
The chateau has a very interesting art collection – well worth the visit. This is the staircase in the Hall of Honour, apparently used as the filming location in a James Bond movie, I snapped the pic because of the fabulous ram’s head….association with sheep…knitting…you get the picture.
Cool but definitely spring-like for the weekend in Nancy (and Metz) to see the art nouveau glass collections at the Musée des Beaux Arts de Nancy and the Musée de l’Ecole de Nancy. Fancy in Nancy sums it up: exquisitely beautiful colour and form, these exhibits wowed me. (I felt a connection with knitting yarn colours, especially the fashion for multi-coloured speckled effects and varigations – a really inspiring visit to Nancy.)
Next up a bit further afield – a long weekend in Stockholm staying on board the Malardrottningen Hotel, once a luxury yacht and now permanently moored in the Gamla-Stan district, the old town of central Stockholm.
With fabulously warm sunny weather (after a less than warm spring in Paris), we were out and about exploring all over the city and long into the evening. We loved every minute.
Back to France and away to the countryside for the day – Burgundy vines near Beaune in the heart of the wine region were greening up. A Wisteria draped nonchalantly over an ordinary stone wall pretties up the picture no end.
The day we were in Beaune just happened by chance to coincide with a rally of vintage Citroen cars. Very interesting.
Of course spring means flowers and for us this year that meant the famous Chelsea flower show in London. We had wanted to do this visit for a long time and we made it – in great weather and with loads of other people.
Plenty of pretty pinks and purples but interesting to note that beige, brown and peachy coloured flowers seemed to be in fashion – fine by me!
The garden art was fantastic – hares seemed to be popular – some made of wire, others of bronze and fabulous sculptures made of driftwood.
Probably just as well they were too big for a suitcase…..
Back home and the spring showers that Paris is famous for were a bit too much
The boarding platform for the Batobus is somewhere down there!
Along with the pleasure of making friends comes the wrench of saying goodbye. We’ve had weekend excursions and picnics and lunch dates in the most wonderful locations to say goodbye to our dear friends. The rain and mizzle kept us company most of the time!
Now it’s time to finish the packing.