Arthur's Travel Journal (Tour of Fran...

Arthur's Travel Journal (Tour of France, 1869)

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Since: Jul 08

Grottoes, VA

#1 Mar 16, 2009
Entry #1, March 31, 1869
After careful attention to packing and the loan of the Sessant carriage, we depart. On the way to Greenwich, a spring breaks on the carriage. I, however, soon had plans and sent the groom back with a horse to the Works, to secure help and parts. We then slowly made our way to Greenwich, having secured the use of a cart for the family as I ride ahead to secure lodgings. We will spend the night at a inn in Greenwich, as arrangements are made to bring the carriage and our luggage to the inn.

Since: Jul 08

Brownsburg, VA

#2 Mar 17, 2009
Entry #2, April 1, 1869
We are still staying at the inn in Greenwich, our carriage still under repairs. I and the family spent the day in a nearby meadow, and after turning the horses out to graze, I let the children play while I did a bit of reading. Little Arthur seemed quite interested in my reading, but I did have to encourage him not to play with my boot-laces. At dinner, we find the repairs nearly completed, and we are in hopes of continuing our journey tomorrow.

Since: Jul 08

Brownsburg, VA

#3 Mar 17, 2009
Entry #3, April 2, 1869
In the late morning, our carriage is ready and we can proceed on our journey. So, the horses are harnessed as the carriage is loaded (and I make a anxious final inspection). Soon, satisfied that we can progress, allow the family and servants to occupy the carriage as I take the box and soon we are on our way. We soon catch up for lost time, moving at a quick trot through quite a few villages, and reach Canterbury late in the evening. We will rest the night there, and hope to reach Dover tomorrow, and across the channel to France.

Since: Jul 08

Brownsburg, VA

#4 Mar 17, 2009
Entry #4, April 3, 1869
After rising early, we are soon at Dover, and making preparations for crossing the Channel. As we waited for the ferry, I soon became involved in securing passage for our entourage: family, horses, carriage,luggage, servants, coachman, groom and footman. The ferry soon arrived, and as all was soon aboard, we were on our way to France. The passage went without incident, except for Little Arthur becoming a bit ill. We soon alight at Calais, and after assembling our entourage, drove to a inn where we spent the night.

Since: Jul 08

Grottoes, VA

#5 Mar 18, 2009
Entry #5-April 4, 1869
Being Sunday, we did no traveling this day. I might note the business our messengers (sent ahead of us) had been doing for our benefit in France. One of these was a moneychanger, exchanging pounds for francs at the limited rate we felt would be needed during the trip, which was L120. This messenger did send word to us that he had been told he was more likely to get francs of the ancien regime than that of Napoleon III. Another messenger had arranged lodgings for us, and has settled us with the obliging M. Jacques-Pierre and Mme. Lucie Chardin of Rue de Richelieu, Paris.

Since: Jul 08

Grottoes, VA

#6 Mar 18, 2009
Entry #6, April 5, 1869
We set out early in the morning, and following the Normandy coast, soon reached Boulogne-sur-Mer. We rested there briefly, but were soon on our way again. We stopped at Montreuil, where we will spend the night.

Since: Jul 08

Grottoes, VA

#7 Mar 18, 2009
Entry #7, April 6, 1869
We departed from Montreuil this morning, hoping to reach Paris in one or two days. We rest for dinner at Abbeville, and then turn toward Amiens. We rest for the night at Amiens, in hopes of reaching Paris the next day.

Since: Jul 08

Grottoes, VA

#8 Apr 1, 2009
Entry #8, April 7, 1869
We depart early from Amiens, with the shadow of the great cathedral behind us. We pass later through Breteuil, which we pause only to buy provisions. Then, we reach Beauvais. Within the shadow of yet another cathedral, we pause to eat dinner. We then resume our journey, and at evening pass St.Denis and on to our hosts in Paris.

Since: Jul 08

Grottoes, VA

#9 Apr 1, 2009
Entry #9-April 8, 1869
We are now housed at the Chardin boarding-house on Rue de Richelieu, Paris. We are located nearby to the old Tuileries palace, with the Louvre beyond. The Palais Royal is behind our lodgings. The house is owned by the Chardins and is now occupied by M. and Mme. Chardin, their daughter, our family and servants, and a few other boarders as well as the Chardin servants. Myself and Amy have been on a walk, where we briefly viewed the gardens of the Palais Royal. It is planned to see the Louvre tomorrow, and Mlle. Chardin informs us she has seen the Louvre three times, which would be not at all surprising considering her position. Thus plans are made for the next day as we retire for the night.

Since: Jul 08

Grottoes, VA

#10 Apr 1, 2009
Entry #10-April 9, 1869
We drove to the Louvre, and upon our arrival, a artist requested us to unhitch our horses so he could make sketches of them. I asked for this to be done, and we went inside the Louvre. The Louvre is in itself a large palace, where in the courtyard we left Little Arthur with the governess, as myself and Amy, with our daughters, went inside the galleries. We spent hours looking at the paintings, and it was well past dinner-time when we emerged to collect our horses and return to our lodgings. We would return to the Louvre to look at the remaining collection the next day.

Since: Jul 08

Grottoes, VA

#11 Apr 1, 2009
Entry #11, April 10, 1869
On this day, only myself and Amy went to the Louvre, the children being permitted to walk with their governess in the gardens of the Palais Royal. I supposed that the girls have had enough of looking at paintings for several hours, though they were the age for introducing them to cultural influences. As we strolled through the high-ceilinged ornamental galleries, I could only wonder at the house next door to our lodgings. There had been no one seen or heard there, though our hosts insisted that the house was indeed occupied. On the door was a brass plate bearing the name "Rabelais" so that was our only sign of occupation. We made plans regarding our remaining days in Paris as we left the Louvre (choosing to walk this day) the next day seeing the Ile de la Cite and the cathedral of Notre-Dame, and following a boat trip on the Seine, planning to take leave of Paris in two days, the 13th day of April.

Since: Jul 08

Lexington, VA

#12 Apr 14, 2009
Entry #12, April 11, 1869
It was a Sunday, and we did not start out until late, it being well into the morning before our carriage departed for Ile de la Cite. We arrived to hear church bells over the city, crossing the Seine on Pont Neuf. We stepped down from the carriage on the Ile itself, viewing the massive structure of the cathedral before us. We walked around the cathedral, being in awe at the massive towers, elegant stained glass and the ornate decoration that made a masterpiece of it all.

Since: Jul 08

Lexington, VA

#13 Apr 14, 2009
Entry #13, April 12, 1869
On this day, we took our tour of the Seine. We set out early in the carriage, alighting at Pont Neuf where we first made a walk (myself and Amy, governess, children and footman) with the carriage on Ile de la Cite, to where we would board the boat on the far side of the island, opposite Notre-Dame. When we were aboard, we slowly made our journey along the Seine, as a gentleman called out sights in French: Hotel des Monnais, Conciergerie, Assemblee Nationale, Place de la Concorde, Pont d'Iena, Pont de Grenelle. The girls were learning French, but I kindly translated just in case. We alighted at the Pont de Grenelle, but only briefly to wait for a boat for the return trip. We soon got a boat going back, and rode back to the Ile de la Cite. We noticed how different the Louvre, Tuileries and gardens looked from the river. Soon, we alighted on the Ile and joined the carriage, where we would soon make ready to leave Paris.

Since: Jul 08

Lexington, VA

#14 Apr 14, 2009
Entry #14, April 13,1869
In the morning, as our carriage was being loaded, we paid the balance due for our stay at the boarding house, and thanked Monsieur and Madame for their services. We then boarded the carriage and headed north out of Paris. We passed St.Denis and went to Rueil-Malmaison, noting the location of a chateau once occupied by the once-Empress Josephine, one-time wife of the first Napoleon. Then, to Versailles, where we stopped at a inn to spend the night.

Since: Jul 08

Lexington, VA

#15 Apr 14, 2009
Entry #15, April 14, 1869
Thus began the second portion of our visit to France, as we make a tour of the chateaux of the Ile de France region around Paris, as has been recommended to us by Madame Chardin. Myself and Amy rode out before breakfast to inspect the Versailles palace and gardens, and from horseback it was seen it would take many days to tour these properly. We hitched up the carriage upon return to the inn, and soon drove toward Villeneuve-St.Georges, which we reached shortly before noon. We then proceeded to Meaux and then to Creil, settling at Chantilly for the evening. Choosing a inn near the famous chateau, we viewed the stone walls and towers as we settled for the night.

Since: Jul 08

Lexington, VA

#16 Apr 14, 2009
Entry #16, April 15, 1869
We left Chantilly early in the morning, soon proceeding to Pontoise, where we rested briefly. We then proceeded northward, reaching Rouen that evening. We viewed the magnificent cathedral as we entered the city, and choosing to go further, we proceeded on to Broglie, and then to Gace, where we will spend the night.

Since: Jul 08

Lexington, VA

#17 Apr 14, 2009
Entry #17, April 16, 1869
Upon leaving Gace in the morning, we thus traveled southward, passing the villages of Nonant-le-Pin and then Sees, and by noon, reaching Alencon. At Alencon, we had a picnic on the lawn near the church, and then we continued our journey. From Alencon we progressed to Beaumont and then to Le Mans. There we were in awe of yet another magnificent cathedral, as I explained to the children what 'flying buttresses' were. We then continued our journey, and reached Laval in the evening. Having refilled our supplies at the open market in Le Mans, we arrived in Laval rather late, but we were able to engage a inn for the night.

Since: Jul 08

Lexington, VA

#18 Apr 14, 2009
Entry #18, April 17, 1869
From Laval, we progressed into Brittany. Our next stop was at Rennes, where we would take note of the market as well as the cathedral and houses of the "Renaissance" period. From Rennes we progressed across Brittany, first passing Mordeles, then Plelan-le-Grand and Ploermel. We passed through Elven at dusk, and we were able to reach Vannes before darkness overtook us. Here, in the heart of the medieval town and cathedral, we settled at a inn for the night.

Since: Jul 08

Lexington, VA

#19 Apr 17, 2009
Entry #19-April 18, 1869
From Vannes we would work our way southward along the west coast of France. We first went through Muzillac (so many charming villages!) then La Roche-Bernard, Pontchateau, Savenay, and finally, Nantes. At Nantes, we stopped for some time. Nantes is not only the seat of a cathedral, but has a delightful open market, a chateau, among other things. We purchased a cheese at the market as well as a loaf of bread, and had a early tea on the lawn nearby to the cathedral. I could only be certain the children could only be confused at the many cathedrals on the journey, and I could only hope the picture-cards we purchased at the markets, as well as the notes myself and Amy had been making, could help to separate these locations in their minds. From Nantes we progressed to Belleville, where we spent the night.

Since: Jul 08

Lexington, VA

#20 Apr 17, 2009
Entry #20-April 19, 1869
From Belleville we continued our journey southward. We passed La Roche-sur-Yon, then Lucon, and then Fontenay-le-Comte, Niort, and Beauvoir-sur-Niort. We continued through Loulay, St.Jean-d'Angely, St.Hilaire, Pons, and then Mirambeau, where we stopped at a inn for the night.

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