Eek, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted! We’ve had friends and family visit recently and Kim is coming in a week (YAY!), so we’ve been extra busy.
Before our visitors, James and I spent a weekend in the adorable town of Fontainebleau. It’s been a while since James has had the weekend off, so when we saw he was off both Saturday and Sunday, we decided it was time to get out of the city a bit.
The very first time I visited France, at the age of 16, I stayed with family for a few days in a village near Fontainebleau. I remember the castle being gorgeous and a giant forest surrounding the city, but honestly, not much else.
Getting the train to Fontainbleau was a little confusing for us, and we actually ended up missing the train we had hoped for. (No worries though, one leaves every hour!) The tricky part is that techincally, it’s the RER D, but not really. It’s called the RER D (and confusingly in the train station also the RER R), but it actually leaves from the normal train platforms at the Gare de Lyon. It’s super tricky since there are signs all over for the RER D, don’t follow them! Just know that you need to go up to the Grandes Lignes platforms and there you can find out what Hall it leaves from, then the specific platform. Tickets can be bought from any metro or Ile de France machine.
Once we found the right platform, everything went smoothly! It takes about 45 minutes to get to the Fontainebleau/Avon train station and then there is a bus there waiting to take you into the centre ville (about 2€ or you can walk it in about 25 mins). We headed straight for our Ibis hotel and then the tourist office for maps.
After lunch we spent the afternoon in the Fontainebleau forest. It was a wonderful change from Paris! The ground was surprisingly sandy, some parts were really like walking on a beach!
We walked soooo much. It was beautiful though! That night we had dinner at Bistrot 9, and it was the best dinner I’ve had in a really long time! I had a steak in a brie sauce, absolutely amazing! I keep asking James if we can go back to Fontainebleau just to have it again! (Or if he will make it for me…haha)
On Sunday we spent the day at the chateau, and it was surprisingly not crowded even though it was free. (We love free Sundays!) For me, the castle at Fontainebleau is just as beautiful as the one at Versailles, but doesn’t get near the attention. It was built in the 16th century and was a favorite hunting place for many kings thanks the forest surrounding it.
The grounds around the castle are gorgeous as well (more walking!!):
It was an absolutely wonderful weekend trip! I’d definitely recommend staying the night and being able to explore the forest a bit. Next time we’re going to rent bikes!