Wednesday 30 May 2012

Into the Long Grass

We visited Chenonceau with some clients the day after Ascension Day, which this year fell on the 17th of May. Ascension Day is on the Thursday 40 days after easter Sunday, and people "faire le pont" - that is "make the bridge" and take an extra long long-weekend by adding the Friday. The weather was perfect: not a cloud in the sky, and we had partaken of a particularly good lunch.

Our previous visit to Chenonceau had been two days earlier - the day before Ascension - and they were mowing the horse paddock next to the car park. This wasn't surprising, as the horses were struggling to keep the grass under control. What I hadn't realised is that they were mowing the paddock so that they could turn it into an overflow carpark, which is where we ended up.

The gate at Chenonceau in August last year
When we were at Chenonceau in August last year we agreed it was a bunfight, and you would REALLY have to want to see Chenonceau to brave the crowds, but Friday the 18th May was even more seriously crowded.

Célestine in the long grass on Ascension Day
I would never say to people "don't go to Chenonceau" - it's an icon, and a deserving one at that. I would, however, say "avoid Chenonceau on a public holiday if you can".


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