Tuesday, June 23, 2015

L'île Charlemagne - More Than a Park

Pages From Jan's Travel Journal: April 20, 2015

Springtime in France! Is there anything better? Darcy and I had most of that lovely day to spend together. We had slept late, arising after Mathieu left for work. We breakfasted at home on some tasty marbled brioche, and then popped into the little neighborhood bakery. We purchased a couple of sandwiches and cans of Orangina, and walked a few yards to the bus stop near the Loire. Soon, we were on our way to Ile de Charlemagne, a wonderful lake and park nearby. 

What a pretty view! You'd never know we were at a bus stop.

I was very impressed with Ile Charlemagne. There is a trail that circles the lake, so Darcy and I began walking along, enjoying the fresh, sweet air and lovely views of the lake. As we walked, Darcy pointed out the many activities which abound in the park. There are kayaks and small sailboats for rent and there is a waterpark on a beach where one can rent a giant plastic ball in which to roll along on the water. There is a paintball forest, and another forest full of treetop activities such as rope bridges, nets to climb, and even scooters to ride in the air. On ground level were trampolines, basketball courts, ping pong tables, a pony club, and many playgrounds for children of all ages. We walked most of the way around the sparkling lake before seating ourselves upon a shady bench to eat lunch. We could easily have spent the day there!

 You can play in the trees at Parc Ile de Charlemagne!

 It looks like fun, but perhaps is not the thing for me.

A lovely scene at the lake at Ile de Charlemagne,Orléans, France.

We returned home via the bus, where we simply lazed around for a bit before Darcy had to leave for class. Before she left, we received some disappointing news. We had been planning a day trip to Yonne, Burgundy in order to view Guédelon, a castle which is being constructed with the same techniques and materials as were used in the Middle Ages. Due to a clerical error, Mathieu was scheduled to work on the day we had chosen to visit Guédelon. We were all a bit dejected, but it just couldn't be helped. We would simply have to put that little trip on the back burner and count on it next year. That castle isn't going anywhere.

For our evening meal, Darcy had planned a Korean dish called bulgogi. While she was still at the University, Mathieu started cooking the rice while I prepared the broccoli for roasting. At the last minute, we were pleased to learn that our friend, Arno, would be joining us for dinner. He and Darcy arrived within seconds of each other and we all sat down for apéro. Just as Darcy was about to begin grilling the marinated pork strips for the bulgogi, she realized that Arno would not have been able to eat it, because of a severe allergy to ginger. That required a quick change of plan - we ate the tasty roasted broccoli as an appetizer, and then strolled over to the Rue de Bourgogne to find a restaurant. We ended up at a Cambodian restaurant called Angkor and seated ourselves outside to take full advantage of the balmy evening. I chose the sweet and sour chicken, and was not disappointed. The dish was attractively presented in a fresh pineapple half with a tiny umbrella stuck into it.The ingredients were obviously of high quality and the dish was very well prepared. We were all quite pleased with the meal and had a lovely time. It was wonderful to catch up with Arno, as I had not seen him for a year. The four of us lingered over the meal, enjoying one another's conversation and another beautiful night in the heart of France.

Dinner at Angkor Cambodian Restaurant in Orléans, France.

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