A few weeks ago I traveled to Paris not to stay in town. From Paris I headed north to the Picardy and - more precisely - the Oise department. This region is just about 35 kilometers north of Paris but you will find yourself in the middle of a beautiful countryside, far away from the bustling city life in Paris. Wide and golden cornfields, little villages and towns scattered along the Oise river, sunny glades and a gem of the French nation and its history: the Château de Chantilly.
Many insiders claim that it is way better to go and visit the Château de Chantilly than the over-famed and tourist-drowned Versailles. Now since I have never been to Versailles (so far), I can not confirm or neglect that stance, but I can surely recommend a trip to the beautiful Chantilly castle. The château is not too big thus a pleasant sight to visit without being overwhelmed by endless rooms and exuberant decor. The Château de Chantilly is interesting in different aspects: first of all it is magnificent as a sight itself including its vast gardens and stables. It also hosts a rich collection of art, ceramics, decorative objects and it showcases many important moments of the French history. Plus the castle is located just at the outskirts of Chantilly town, a charming little town, somewhat sleepy but nonetheless quaint.
After the visit to the Château de Chantilly I continued on a little road trip around the Oise department. Little villages like Ermenonville look so peaceful and give the impression as if time has stood still for a while. You can wander around and discover lots of beautiful nature, charming cafés, old abbeys and romantic churches. Who knew that the countryside is just a 40 minutes drive from buzzing Paris? Even though I am a city boy, I really love countryside escapes from time to time. And after this one I know I need more French countryside escapes in my life. Let's make it a mission and - as always - I will take you along. If you like of course. Happy Monday, friends!
Photography by Igor Josifovic