Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Sunday, August 02, 2009

    Paris - Let's Go Medieval

    Today was a treat Dale McCready had invited us to
    The set of Merlin. The TV series is shot at Château du Pierrefronds, nearest town, Compiegne.
    It was the usual grey and damp day but that didn’t phase us.

    Dale had “Le Coff” and didn’t want to go so I popped across the road to Le Metro, and met John and JT at Gare du Nord.

    John had already bought tickets for 4 so we had to return one but all settled and then onto the train.
    We went first class, nice change for me.
    It took about 45 minutes to get to Compiegne.
    Dale Mac suggested that we took a cab to the Chateau.
    It seemed to take a while to get there, all the way through the countryside and then the driver dropped us off kind of at the gate.
    John went over to find out where to go and then we found we had to walk at least another kilometre to the entrance.
    So we staggered up and there was evidence of the filming. Vans, people with clipboards, walkie talkies and all the trappings of a shoot. Plus yet another long walk to the real entrance.
    Luckily a gentleman appeared who knew Dale and drove us the rest of the way.
    It was worth the effort. It’s a stunning Chateau.

    We found Dale.
    We walked onto the set and it was a hive of industry.
    Unfortunately they weren’t going to shoot for quite a while. They were just setting the scene.

    The stars weren’t around, just understudies. So we took a ‘Tiki Tour’ of the Chateau. A great view with the village in the distance.
    And just below Dale showed us the facades of the medieval village.
    Back to the set these sad sacks were awaiting their turn
    They look a bit bored.
    Meanwhile Dale Mac had to abandon us, work was waiting.
    And just to prove I actually was there.
    Outside they were shooting a scene. It involved one of the stars
    Bradley James who plays Arthur, Prince of Camelot colliding with a maid carrying laundry. It took a few gos. We were very much in the background and couldn’t really see much. Plus it got too cold.
    Don’t forget we are Summer in France!

    So we decided to move on and returned to the village below.
    Guess what our long walk to the Chateau was unnecessary, it seems that all we need to do was go in this gate,
    and a gentle stroll up this path and Voila, we would have been there in seconds probably.
    Never mind we took the quick way down and found a great little restaurant.

    A view of the village.
    Never mind we took the quick way down and found a great little restaurant.

    My lunch was excellent, it may look like a dog’s dinner but it tasted divine
    Foie gras, magret, fresh vege, smoked duck and lardons and of course bread, bread and more bread.
    (Poor John, being Gluten Intolerant in France is not easy. All that wonderful bread).
    All washed down by a cheeky little Rose served by our cheeky little waiter.
    So we cabbed it back to the station, funnily enough it was a much quicker trip. The driver just popped through couple of villages, not through the country as previously. It was cheaper as well.

    There had been a problem with our flights to Croatia. Croatian Airlines had canned our flight. Luckily our agent and friend Tony rang me from NZ and booked us immediately on an earlier flight. This was great but we had to change our ride on the TGV from Le Mans to Paris.
    Now leaving at 7.30am instead of midday…oh well c’est la vie and early start. Of course changing the ticket was not going to be easy. Had to be done at a station.
    As luck would have it, we had time at Compiegne Station. The lovely girl at the office, managed to understand me and in minutes we were booked. Her English was better than my French.
    The French are charming, and contrary to previous visits, we have found lots of English speaking people, At least they have enough English and along with our bastard French, we get our messages across. So all is tres facile vraiment!

    We even had enough time to have a quick drink at the “Cocktail Bar” across the road from the station. It was wet, and an uplifting Cocktail seemed a good idea.
    So in my bad French, I asked for the Le Carte du Cocktail. The young man looked blankly at me. I asked Mai Tai? Pina Colada? Martini? Gin Sling? No go…He indicated the Manager so we had the conversation with him...still no result. It turned out it wasn’t my bad French, but in fact they didn’t serve cocktails at all. Not bad for a Cocktail Bar!
    One could have either Gin, Whiskey, Vodka, Rum, Pastis, Beer or wine. Not possible to mix them. NO Madame NO Cocktails. So…we settled for wine.

    Pity a Black Russian would have gone down well to get the heart started.

    So John, JT and I caught the train back to Gare du Nord and went our separate ways.
    I arrived home to find that Dale had arisen, and taken his ‘Coff’ out for a walk. So while we were soaking up History and yummy food, he wandered alone round Paris, here’s a few sample of his shots.
    I call these, "The Colours of Paris".

    From the stark, ultra clean streets, to masses of colours. Doesn't matter if the skies are grey, its uplifting to walk around these beautiful streets

    It really is beautiful La Belle Paris.

    No comments: