Romantic France, Europe's largest tourist destination, has carefully crafted a self-driving itinerary through north-central France to make most of short breaks. On this route you can meet impressions of Monet and Joan of Arc, you can make a pilgrimage to fabulous mountain of sea - Mont Saint-Michel, you can also get to concentration camp of castles and wineries - Loire Valley, and landscapes of Alps are final destination. Charming Annecy and Chamonix, if you are not familiar with these two names, how about Mont Blanc?
Successfully rented a small lion - Peugeot 308SW from Hertz at Gare du Nord in Paris. The car is relatively spacious and trunk is quite large. I will rely on him to roam soil of France next week.
Planning itinerary: Giverny meets Monet - Rouen meets Joan of Arc - Le Mans meets Holy Mountain of Sea - Blois enters castle's concentration camp - Annecy drinks afternoon tea on balcony of Alps - Chamonix meets Mont Blanc< /p >
ItineraryImpression of Monet and Joan of Arc
Claude Monet, one of most famous founders and masters of Impressionism, his Sunrise Impression, Water Lilies and Rouen Church series are also famous in China Familiar. Monet's magnificent depiction of light and shadow effects created a magical artistic concept.
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Day1, unknown village of Giverny, has become a dream destination for many tourists and fans, only because Monet lived and worked here for decades.
Giverny, small and refined, with a peaceful pastoral landscape, it is not surprising that master decided to create here and stayed there forever.
The former residence of Monet with a huge garden is a two-story building with green window frames and pink exterior walls, harmoniously blending into garden. The interior of former residence is not magnificent, with his collection of Japanese ukiyo-e works hanging everywhere, but photography is not allowed inside.
Former residence of Monet
The garden is full of various flowers that Monet brought back from Paris and elsewhere, and flowers are blooming and colorful most of the year.
The road to water lily pond is planted with bamboo rare in Europe. Monet was obsessed with Japanese art and design of garden can be seen as an imitation of Japanese gardens.
Scattered along edge of pond are several small wooden and green bridges, which are "Japanese bridges" that often appear in his paintings.
The real scene of painting "Water Lily"
On an autumn day in Giverny, there are not many water lilies in bloom. Instead, blue sky and white clouds are reflected in pond where shadows of trees dance, and you can feel trace of light and shadow in works of Master Monet in a trance.
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It so happened that a French elementary school student came to visit. I have been immersed in atmosphere of art since childhood. Maybe another master among them?
The gift shop in Monet's garden used to be his workshop, and there is a huge copy of "Water Lilies" hanging on the wall.
It only takes about two hours to visit Giverny, then drive to Rouen and stay here. Rouen is located in northwest of France. The old city of Rouen has a thousand-year history. Since it is located between mouth of Seine and Paris, shipping, industry and trade are highly developed. It was once one of largest and most prosperous cities in Europe during Middle Ages. Today's Rouen, like many ancient European cities, is quiet, comfortable and elegant.
The most famous church in Rouen is Notre-Dame-RouenNotre-Dame, described by Monet. Monet created for this purpose a series of works depicting light and shadow effects of this beautiful church at different times and in different weather conditions. During Great Patriotic War, entire city, including church, was badly damaged, and restoration work continues today.
One of Monet's "Rouen Cathedral" series
Just a short walk from church along main street of Belfry in old town, a strange building comes into view. This black building with strange lines, roof is covered with scaly tiles, and there is a cross above it (in ordinary churches there are only crosses) - this is Church of Joan of Arc.
During Hundred Years War between Britain and France in 15th century, an illiterate little girl from countryside enacted a scene that will forever go down in history. 19-year-old Joan of Arc was finally sentenced to be burned. at stake. On site where she died, this church is now built in memory of her. Inside church is first batch of Renaissance stained glass windows, which are currently best preserved in France and tell life stories of early Normans. In corner of church, a statue of Joan of Arc is placed in corner, and from time to time someone in their hearts puts a candle to saint.
There is a fabulous mountain on sea - Mont Saint-Michel
On your second day, head west along coast of Normandy in northwest France to fabulous Mont Saint-Michel mountain in France.
Mont Saint-Michel is third most important holy site of Catholicism after Jerusalem and Vatican. More than 1,300 years have passed since Cardinal Archangel Saint-Michel Thomson began building a church on top of mountain. Due to its special geographical position and phenomenon of stormy tides, this small island immediately gained the status of an apotheosis.
During Hundred Years' War between Britain and France, this site became only French military stronghold in area that was not captured by British army. freedom and courage of French people.
The area of the small island is small, with a radius of about a kilometer and a height of only 88 meters, however, due to fact that it is often surrounded by large tidal flats and becomes an island at high tide, and majestic monastery on mountain, it looks very high and can be seen from afar.
The road from the parking lot to Mont Saint-Michel is lined with hotels and restaurants. The Normandy region is famous in France for its oysters, oysters and blackface lamb, so we found a restaurant overlooking Mont Saint-Michel to feast on.
The landing on island is free, even scenic car from parking lot to island is free, only monastery on top of mountain is paid! (Think about domestic tickets...)
In addition to being most iconic monastery on island, it is actually a small town with small churches, various residences and tourist facilities, most of which are still medieval granite buildings that reveal vicissitudes of history.
The Abbey of St. Michael soars into sky, and Archangel Michel, striking dragon with a sharp sword, stands on highest point of tower, protecting ground under his feet.
Compared to magnificent and luxurious cathedrals of Rome and other places, monastery can be called simple or even rundown, without luxurious marble decorations, without exquisite carvings and paintings.
Standing on a platform next to monastery, Mont Saint-Michel's reflection looks out to boundless Atlantic Ocean and lonely bitter sea breeze.
After a long nineteenth-century building promenade connects coast and Mont Saint-Michel, flow of water is blocked, and tides leave a lot of silt and sediment on sand.
French Castle Concentration Camp - Loire Valley
Day 3-4, leaving Mont Saint-Michel, turning southeast, next destination is Loire Valley. In small town of Blois, it is very quiet in autumn, and few tourists stop here. Due to many castles around, stay here for two nights.
During late Renaissance, French royal family admired Italian culture. King Francis of France even invited Da Vinci and became friends with him. Da Vinci finally died here. Rumor has it that paintings such as Mona Lisa were also brought to France by da Vinci at that time.
Chateau de Chambord is most majestic and largest of all castles of Loire Valley. Francis I's insistence on dreams and love of art and luxury are fully reflected in this building, and da Vinci's addition adds icing to this castle's cake.
Chambord is famous for its 365 renaissance chimneys, which are said to resemble a birthday cake with candles.
The double helix staircase in center of Chambord was designed by da Vinci. Two groups of independent stairs are staggered around a common axis, twisting upwards, and people going up and down stairs can see each other without meeting each other. It is said that this was when king avoided embarrassment and arguments when the queen and his mistress met face to face.
If Chambord is called a "king", then corresponding "queen" is Chateau de Chenonceau. Lives on Cher River, a tributary of Loire River.
It is surprising that almost all owners of this castle were women. Therefore, after generations of hostesses, Chenonceau has become most refined, elegant and romantic castle among all castles of Loire Valley.
It exudes a strong feminine vibe not even found in famous Chateau de Chambord. It is delicate, gentle and delicate. Although French royal family has not lived here for a long time, decoration in castle is entirely up to royal standards. Portraits and emblems can be seen everywhere members of royal family.
Leaving castle, I saw several hot air balloons floating in sky from afar. It must be beautiful to look down at land where castle and vineyards intersect at dusk.
Compared to "King (Chambord) Queen (Chenonceau)" of two castles listed above, Cheverny seems a bit simpler.
But after entering, there is a huge well-kept lawn, and in distance you can even see forests, demonstrating extraordinary aristocratic dynamics here.
Today, castle still belongs to family of Marquis de Vibret. Dozens of employees are responsible for gardening, more than 100 hounds and more than 2,000 hectares of wild parks, so castle still has a strong flavor. life.
The V logo on belly of hound in picture below is a mark of Marquis's name.
In The Adventures of Tintin, magnificent and majestic castle of Cheverny is inscribed into narrative by author as a blueprint. Therefore, next to entrance to castle there is even a small museum of Tintin comics, and comic images on outer wall cause laughter.
Blois Castle is located in center of Blois. This is a royal castle under direct control of French royal family. Above gate is an equestrian statue of King Louis XII of France.
The biggest feature of this castle is various buildings surrounding atrium, which are a mixture of Gothic and Renaissance styles.
Climbing up to castle, you can enjoy beautiful landscapes on both sides of Loire and buildings of old town of Blois, not far from which is church of St. Nicholas.
There are many more castles in Loire Valley than these few, but there are dozens of them. One of envious) bought Chaumont and others. During Hundred Years War between Britain and France, French royal family lived here, and other dignitaries naturally flocked to camp here. Therefore, each castle here has a long and rich historical and cultural relics and gossip.The most beautiful city in France - Annecy and Chamonix
On 5th day, journey from Blois to Annecy is not a short one, and journey takes about six or seven hours.
Annecy, known as "balcony of Alps", strolls through streets of old town, a clean river flows through city, and streets on both sides are densely dotted with cafes, small shops, hotels and restaurants. , with balconies and railings It is full of flowers.
If you walk more than 10 minutes, in front of you is Lake Annecy. The water in lake comes from snow and ice of Alps and is known as cleanest lake in Europe. The water in lake is crystal clear, fish swim in water, and waterfowl and swans roam lake leisurely. At sunset, residents and tourists walk or jog along lake, enjoying peaceful and tranquil scenery of lake and mountains.
The sky darkens and goes back. At this time, old city is already lit up, and there are more colors than during day. The shops facing street are full of shoppers. If you like silence, you can find a small restaurant tucked away in an alley where you can eat deliciously. Baked snails are famous here!
On 6th day we drove through Alps, enjoying beautiful autumn landscapes, and are about to come to end of our self-guided tour - Charmonix.
Despite fact that city at foot of snow-capped mountains is small, it is much prosperous. The sculptures on street are dedicated to memory of Horace Benedict de Saussure, who discovered Mont Blanc.
Surrounded by famous Mont Blanc, highest peak of Alps, this small town is full of tourists and outdoor sports enthusiasts. Along way, you can see snowy Mont Blanc in distance.
Take highest cable car in Europe and climb to top of South Needle to see world.
On seventh day we left Chamonix and drove to Lyon to return car.Precautions for self-driving:
1. To rent a car, you can book it online with a notarized driving license (English is also available);
Secondly, there are quite a lot of toll roads in France in Europe, and they are expensive. The toll booths use credit cards to pay themselves, if you encounter difficulties, you can also press bell on payment machine to contact staff;< /p>
Third, distinguish whether your car is diesel (gasol) or petrol (essence), and memorize these two French words.