Michael and Pam's Travels

Troyes and Fontainebleau, France. 2016

Travelled : 136 kilometres from Chaumont to Troyes in the Champagne Region.

Visited : Mc Arthur Glen Shopping Outlets.

Stayed : Centre-ville car park, free but no services. N48.29139 ย E4.07432 (CCT) one night.

Travelled : 169 kilometres from Troyes to Milly-la-Foret, Paris Region.

Visited : Fontainebleau Chateau (โ‚ฌ26 double with audio guide).

Stayed : Municipal aire Milly-la-Foret, free with service. ย N48.39808 ย E2.48024 (CCT) one night.


Our transit across France continues at a steady pace. ย Keeping off the motorways and running the D roads we save on the toll fees, the stress of Pam (sitting in the left seat) arguing the toss with the toll collectors and the trucks and fast moving cars. ย It’s a relaxing run as we pass the miles and miles of vineyards facing south, every small village has a champagne cave and tasting signs.

Naturally fermented champagne are stored underground in France in the ‘manner traditional’. ย We have been all through that on our previous visits to France and we still have a bottle of champagne from 3 years ago in one of the lower lockers waiting for just the right moment. ย We do however see a sign for the Charles De Gaul Memorial as we pass Colombey-les-Beux-Eglises. ย So we turn off the D619 for a look. ย It’s not raining, but it is a very misty morning, although it’s almost mid-day by now.

In the mist we manage to find the special camper parking area and walk toward the ‘information centre’. ย Directed into the mist we walk for almost a kilometre up the hill. ย Suddenly a large cube shape building looms out of the mist, we have found it. ย Walking inside we are shocked to find it has an entrance fee ! ย โ‚ฌ16 each, have we entered the ‘twilight zone’ ! ย We look at each other and say au-reviour to Charles.



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As we move through the mist towards our ‘twilight zone’ moment. ย Even in the mist, Colombey is a very lovely village.



As close as we get to finding out more about the great man.


We arrive in Troyes in the mid-afternoon and do a quick shop at the Lidl comparing the German/French prices, as you do. ย We have passed through Troyes a few times before and know it well. ย Troyes is the centre of the garment industry in France and home to the DFO. ย The most upmarket of those it the McArthur Complex (yes, owned by the same people who run McArthur Square and various other complexes in Australia) or as it’s known in our family, the Pam Complex. ย Whilst the main focus this year will be the Grandchildren, Pam does spend an inordinate amount of time at the Tommy Hilfiger Gallery.



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Mmm…it was a long afternoon.


We last visited Troyes in 2015, from memory it rained all night and half the day. ย So as soon as the sunsets we are not surprised to hear the rain start. ย By bed time it’s falling steadily and it continues for the entire night (or so it seemed in the land of nod). ย  Still raining at 8am, but it suddenly clears. ย The suns out for the first time in a week or so.

Pam has had second thoughts on something she brought for a friend’s new baby and wants to exchange it, so we depart Troyes via the McArthur Complex (N48.32903 ย E4.10384). ย They have excellent free wifi that extends into the carpark, so I download the Australian while Pam does her thing. ย Finally where off, continuing north-west along the D619 which closely follows the River Seine…



We stop for a late morning coffee by the canal at Romilly-s-Seine. The Haute-Seine Canal runs parallel with the river and this unusual iron lift-bridge and walk-way make an interesting back drop for our coffee-stop.


Another view of the canal with a small cemetery in the background.


Back on the road, the D411 is an easy drive. ย There’s little traffic and the road is unusually straight, we sit on 90 kph and just roll across the country-side.



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It would be an untruth to say we planned our visit to Fontainebleau Chateau today but I had set the GPS for a small car-park near the back-gate and we arrived in good time to visit the hunting lodge of the Kings and Emperors of France.



Looking across the ‘carp pond’, one of the man-made lakes that surround Fontainebleau Chateau.



This panorama should open if you click on it.



Originally a hunting lodge, Francis I started the expansion of the lodge into a Chateau in 1528.



What makes Fontainebleau Chateau unique is the furniture and fittings are original. According to the blurb Fontainebleau was the only royal residence not damaged by looting following the French Revolution in 1789. ย Whilst some furniture was removed by Napoleon its was only as part of the renewal and upgrading of the Chateau.



Cannot remember the name of this gallery, but I’ll update it when I get some Google time.



Diane’s Library. ย Named after the Goddess Diane whose legend is pictorially described on the ceiling and Napoleon’s 16,000 volume library adorning the walls.



The Throne Room (obvious even to Australians). ย So while much of the structural work was built by Henry IV and Louis XV (Kings) the current decoration are down to Napoleon I (Emperor) and his descendants.




The Trinity Chapel at Fontainebleau. Pam and I both noted the decorations must be the work of Martin Freminet, given the similarity to his work at the Palace of Versailles.


The comparison with the Palace at Versailles is something you need to judge for yourself. ย For us, some aspects of the gardens and fountains at Versailles may be superior. ย However the interior furnishings and fittings of Fontainebleau Chateau are grander and in better condition than Versailles. ย It may also be the crowds at Versailles detract from the experience somewhat and we had an easy walk through Fontainebleau.

One thought on “Troyes and Fontainebleau, France. 2016

  1. Judy Wade

    No, the panorama didn’t open when I clicked on it. All your photos are excellent; it’s great to be able to see them while you are still travelling around! Not much longer now, though, before it’s over & we have you back home.

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