The gang did an outing to Fontainebleau yesterday. It was a first for me--actually, for the whole crowd. It's a natural for a day trip: just 35 miles southeast of Paris from the Gare de Lyon, which bears an eerie similarity to the trip into southeast England from Waterloo. We had a hard rain in the morning but around noon the skies cleared and the gardens exploded in spring green. The 19-year-old begged for a few minutes just to romp around in the forest; I half expected him to rip off all his clothes.
As to the chateau itself--I'm delighted I went and half sorry I never went before, but it's a mess: a stew of styles and eras, made more confusing by the habit of previous owners to move stuff around and reassemble. There's a great deal of techne on offer; lots to admire, some even to inspire a gasp. Still--correct me if I'm forgetting but I don't remember a single thing that you'd actually call beautiful. Pretty, maybe, but "pretty" in this context is a bit of a slur. Maybe an exception for the outside, stately and restrained, but the inside--my God, no wonder the peasants sharpened their pitchforks.