Saturday, July 9, 2016

Château de Malmaison (7/9/2016)

Saturday, July 9, 2016
We have been so lucky to have all these sunny days, at a time when France has experienced so much rain as to have flooding, and when Normandy usually has a rainy climate.

Mantes-la-Jolie with its Collégiale Notre-Dame/
Collegiate Church of Our Lady (1155-1350)
The Viking Rolf was docked in Mantes-la-Jolie when after breakfast we boarded buses to take us into Paris to Château de Malmaison. This palace was purchased by General Napoléon Bonaparte's wife, Josephine in 1799, when he was away fighting in Egypt. He was miffed that she paid so much money for this place that needed extensive renovations, and supposedly this led to the law that women could not deal in real estate as outlined in the Napoleonic Code of 1804. (Apparently it wasn't until 1964 or 1979 when married women in France were free to purchase property without their husbands' permission.) However, upon their divorce in 1809, Josephine was given the palace as her own, and she lived there until she died in 1814.
Château de Malmaison (17C) (KSS)
This palace has gardens with flowers in it
(a few Viking visitors to Château de Versailles were
disappointed that there were no flowers in the "gardens") (KSS)
Classical statues on the façade including
the "Statue of Liberty" (KSS)
Entry designed like a tent from Napoléon's Egyptian campaign
Inside the "tent"
Classical statues preferred by Napoléon to
surround himself with all things Caesar
Dining room
A salon that looks like a military campaign tent
The library decorated with painted busts
of philosophers, such as Plato
Josephine's bed desk
Chairs with swan arms
China set from Paris
Personalized cups
Bonaparte franchissant le Grand-Saint-Bernard/
Napoléon at St-Bernard Pass (1801)
by Jacques-Louis David
Our guide liked to point out idiosyncrasies like the heads of
soldiers seen through the tail of the horse
Napoléon's inlaid sword case
Napoléon's bedroom
Salon with paintings of Josephine
Painting of Josephine and her children during the visit of Tsar Alexander
by Jean-Louis (Hector Viger) du Vigneau (KSS)
The music room (KSS)
Tapestry loom (KSS)
A peek at the back gardens
Stop and go traffic on the way back to
the Viking Rolf (KSS)
Removable "Please Watch Your Head" sign
After lunch, the Viking Rolf started cruising again, upriver to Le Pecq, where we had started.
The pilothouse is down to go under a bridge
The pilothouse is back up
Houseboat (KSS)
Barge with living quarters (KSS)
Boys swimming in the Seine (KSS)
We arrived in Le Pecq at dinnertime.
Tonight we started dinner with Escargots à la Provençale/snails in golden puff pastry and garlic-herb sauce, with a main course of Jarret d'Agneau Braisé et Huile de Basilic/braised lamb shank with basil oil. Dessert was a Cappuccino and Caramel Cookie.
It was time to settle the bill and pack for departure tomorrow.
Next: Jérôme.

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