"A very French experience" Le Port-Marly by Dabs
Le Port-Marly Travel Guide: 4 reviews and 8 photos
On our way from Chantilly to Chartres we thought we'd make a stop in St-Germain-en-Laye to visit the Chateau de St.-Germain but I didn't read the fine print in the guidebook, closed on Monday! But the guide also listed the Chateau de Monte Cristo, how much more French can you get than the home of the author of "The Three Musketeers"? Alas, that is not the "very French experience" to which I refer, that happens after we *finally* locate the grounds of the chateau after driving around for an hour and pull up to the parking lot, press the call button on the gate to the parking to have a voice on the other side said "we are closed for lunch". "But the sign says last admission 12pm and it's 11:55am" we plead. "Non, you can come back at 14:00 when we reopen". Unwilling to take a non for an answer, we find a parking spot on a nearby street, walk past the forbidding gate and enter the billeterie.
We say "the chateau is not very well marked from the roads", the ticket seller says "there are plenty of signs, you just didn't see them". "Can we at least have a look at the outside of the chateau, we've been driving around here for an hour!" we cry. "Only if you pay admission" she says. "And you have to be out by 12:30pm". Heaven forbid they have to cut their lunch short by a few minutes....
We hurried down to the chateau, by now it's 12:05pm. The house guard looks at his watch and shakes his head. "You can only spend 10 minutes on each floor". So we quickly walk through the chateau, which quite honestly isn't that big, two small floors with display cases of things from Alexander Dumas' career-books, movie posters, costumes. Precisely at 12:20pm the guard hunts us down "you must be off the property by 12:30pm" *sigh* Really, would it kill you to allow the four tourists that actually thought you were interesting enough to visit an extra couple of minutes to look around? Non, not the French.
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