My Travel Blog

Bastille Day in Nemours

We said goodbye to Heather and family, and continued on our journey.  Our next stop was Nemours. The town was pleasant, but it was the surrounding villages and cities along with the forest of Fontainebleau that we wanted to see. Chateau Landon was our first stop. The chateau is now a home for the aged, so all we could do was walk the grounds. There was also an ancient church that we popped into for a few minutes.  After awhile they do start to look alike, and there was nothing special about this one.

Our next stop was Moret-sur-Loing.  This is where Alfred Sisley spent much of his life painting.  Once you visit this gorgeous town you will understand why. It is very touristy, but still worth the visit. Rather than trying to describe the ponds, streams, waterfalls and flowers I will let the attached pictures do the talking.  From Moret-sur-Loing we went to Larchant to see its eleventh century basilica. Half of the church is in ruins while the other half is still being used. It was certainly unique, but I’m not sure it was worth the drive.

For 110 years old this barge is looking pretty good.

Chateau Landon.



The remnants of the 11th century church in Larchant.

After two days of sightseeing Lisa needed to go hiking. We drove to the village of Barbizon not knowing what to expect. Not only is Barbizon in the middle of the Fontainebleau forest, but it is also an enchanting artist colony. Our first stop was the Tourist Information Office to get a map of the area. Normally I’m pretty good when it comes to reading maps, but I have to say I was totally lost the entire time we were hiking. Somehow I managed to get us back to the village in time for a late lunch.  At two in the afternoon every restaurant was packed. We eventually found a place that would take us, but the food was mediocre at best.

Lisa in the Forest of Fontainebleau.

The forest of Fontainebleau.

I can’t imagine this restaurant in Barbizon has much of a feminist clientele.

The Barbizon police force.

The next day was July 14th, Bastille Day. This is the French equivalent to our 4th of July, and celebrates the storming of the Bastille in 1789. By the 18th century the Bastille was no longer a fortress, but a prison used by the state police. The storming was more about the gunpowder that was stored there rather than trying to release the prisoners, as there were only seven at the time. When it comes to parties the French really know how to celebrate, and Bastille Day is the biggest party of the year. Nemours is a relatively small town, and yet their fireworks show would put some major U.S. cites 4th of July celebrations to shame.

Bastille Day fireworks.

The Loing River running through Nemours.

The next day Kevin dropped us off at Gare du Nord in Paris where we took the TGV to Brussels. I love the European train system.  It only took us one and a half hours to get from the center of Paris to the center of Brussels, and we were able to enjoy the scenery on the way. We were headed home for a short stay to attend my nieces wedding, and the savings flying out of Brussels was too much to pass up.

-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave”  and “When Stones Speak”– 
Chuck Palmer Adventure novels


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.