Paperwork… in Rambouillet.

Our ‘titre de séjour’ (resident permits) with our new address are ready to be picked up and for some reason we now have to fetch it at the préfecture in Rambouillet and not in Versailles. I don’t really mind, just a good excuse to see another place. For Danie it is a bit more difficult, because Versailles is on his way to work and Rambouillet is exactly in the opposite direction.
Yesterday I went to fetch mine and tried to get Danie’s as well, but this little card is too important to be given to somebody else. : ) He has to go himself… in person. : )

Rambouillet is about 30km South-West from us, so with the help of my GPS I drove to the address of the Hotel de Ville as there is a parking area. What I didn’t know was that Wednesday is market day in Rambouillet, and the parking was filled with vegetables, chickens, books and more. Not really a problem, I found a parking spot close by and could also browse through the market.

Hotel de Ville of Rambouillet

market day

I walked down Rue du Général de Gaulle

This street is filled with stree cafés , chocolatiers, boulangeries and boucheries…

all the way down to the préfécture at the bottom of the road

A quick stroll in the park where you can see that autumn is here…

and then to the beautiful Château de Rambouillet, which is the summer residence of the president of France.

The president’s backyard and garden…

The guards were not on duty, so I don’t think Monsieur Hollande is in Rambouillet at the moment… : )


Visiting van Gogh

Still a little strange to think… but the town where Vincent van Gogh spend his last months, is just a 15 min. drive from my house. I visited the château before, but Saturday was my first visit to Van Gogh’s Auvers sur Oise. Me and my mother started at the church… with a lot of tourist groups. You had to use the quiet moments between two groups to enjoy the atmosphere and take some photo’s.

…and the side from which van Gogh made his painting.

The graveyard not far from the church. Two small stones for Vincent and his brother Theo, among all the crosses showing the last resting places of french families.

…here rest Vincent and Theo van Gogh

We could walk into the little attic room in this building where van Gogh stayed and died after committing suicide.

The house of Dr. Gachet, Vincent’s friend and physician. They currently display modern artist’s work here. In the garden was an exhibition of flowers made from recycled steel.

In the château of Auvers they take you on a trip through the times of the impressionists. Starting in Paris and moving  with them into the countryside.

and then the nice drive back to Cergy-Pontoise. Currently filled with the yellow patches of the canola fields…

We were going to see Van Gogh’s original painting of the church in Auvers in the D’Orsay museum in Paris yesterday, but the 1000 people in the queue and the rain, made us leave that for another day…

Le château de Saint-Germain-en-Laye

My mother is visiting us for a few weeks. We don’t have the best weather at the moment, but according to the french people this is typical April weather. In one day (and each day) you will have rain and sunshine. Some days we were lucky to be inside when it rains, but the first day in Paris the rain caught us a bit and it was really cold. Later this week we will try again. For now we drove around close to where we live.

Wednesday we went to Saint-Germain-en-Laye, half an hour from us. The beautiful castle now hosts an archaeology museum. Everything from the stone age, iron age, bronze age and so on… The building itself is worth a visit and then there is the garden. We didn’t see all of it, it is just too big. A place to remember for a nice walk.

Le château

the chapel inside the castle


…and the rest of the gardens

Château Maisons Laffitte

6 July 2011

Maisons Laffitte is a town just across the river Seine from where we are staying now in Montesson. Me and the girls went this morning… the boys… there is no technology to see…

When you walk in a building this big, which was actually someone’s house, you really wonder about how people lived. You can not only be rich to afford this, there must be no end to what you can afford…Pillars were made with their initials embossed… Paintings and tapestries of unreal sizes…