September 2019: Admittedly I have yet to give France the attention it deserves in my travels, and I have yet to dedicate a trip to France. I have however, tried to make the best out of any layovers I have had in France to see as much as possible. In 2010, I first visited Paris with a 8 hour layover and my friends and I raced over to the Eiffel Tower, climbed it and explored the area before racing back to the airport.

 

Jason and I on top of the Eiffel Tower

After a long and grueling backpacking trip into the Congo rainforests of eastern Cameroon, Central African Republic and Republic of Congo, my friends Scott, Jason and I were happy to be in a much cooler climate in France. 

 

Scott and I at the Eiffel Tower

My latest trip to France was another on another layover. My flight into Paris arrived in the early evening and I rented a Renault manual shift vehicle at the airport and immediately set off in a rain storn to find the cheateu in the countrusde I booked that was located about 50 miles away. I was headed to the Chateau de la Plumasserie, a chateau built in 1846 on the ruins of an old castle and located in a country estate. Finding the chateau was not easy in the rain and dark with a GPS that seemed to have another location in mind. The caretakers of the chateau were able to provide proper instructions over the phone and I arrived late in the evening as the only guest in the creepy old chateau located on the edge of a forest and farmland.

 

Farmland outside the cheateau the next morning

I woke up before the sunrise, excited to expore the grounds of the old chateau and I wasn’t dissapointed. The estate was full of interesting things to see; stone statues, well groomed gardens, fountains and even farm animals. 

Chateau de la Plumasserie

Chateau de la Plumasserie

Chateau de la Plumasserie Statues

Chateau de la Plumasserie Statues

I was the only guest and wondered the grounds in the morning of the estate before having a breakfast of cheese, croissant and coffee. The family that was overseeing the estate was friendly and helped me to open different gates to access new areas of the estates grounds to explore. 

Chateau de la Plumasserie Donkey

Friendly horse that licked my head

Admittedly I have yet to give France the attention it deserves in my travels, and I have yet to dedicate a trip to France. I have however, tried to make the best out of any layovers I have had in France to see as much as possible. My latest trip to France was one such layover. My flight into Paris arrived in the early evening and I rented a Renault manual shift vehicle at the airport and immediately set off in a rain storn to find the cheateu in the countrusde I booked that was located about 50 miles away. 

I had about 8 hours before my flight so I mapped out some other old castle and chateau ruins in the area to explore on my way back to the airport. The nearby vilage of Fontenay-Tresigny is abeaitfull village with a small cobblestone old town. I found an old chateau there that was under construction and there was a nearby construction crew so I didn’t bother with trying to sneak on to its property as I intended to do. 

Abandoned 200 year old chateau under renovation

Abandoned 200 year old chateau under renovation

The highlight of the day was the ruined castle I found a little further outside of town that looked like something out of a fairytale. Every village and part of France is so rich with history and has its own story to tell. I will definitely be back to see more. 

Fontenay-Tresigny Ruined Castle

Fontenay-Tresigny Ruined Castle

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