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    CLAIREINPARIS   50,954
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I did it!!! I did a 5-hour hike today!


Sunday, September 09, 2012

OK, I’ll say it... I am PROUD. Today, although I am still many kilos above the obesity level, I walked for 5 hours (roughly 20K/12 miles) on a sometimes very steep path. And it was hot too! (31C/88F). But nothing was going to stop me! It had been my aim to hike for 5 hours before the end of the year. But I knew that today, I could do it...

So, I went to Compiègne, a little town North of Paris which has a gorgeous forest and a castle which isn’t too bad either! :)



As for the forest, I went for a hike there last year in November and truly enjoyed it.
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But the forest is so huge I know I can go back many times and never walk in the same paths!

I parked near the castle and enjoyed the castle’s gardens...









From the castle, here is the view on the ‘esplanade’. (I walked that way on the way back and, although it was hot, with no shade at all, it was great to see the castle slowly appearing...)



As soon as I left the castle’s park, I was in the forest...



But above the first path I took (which was quite a long one), there was this structure. I guess when the castle had its imperial hosts, there must have been beautiful flowers growing on it... roses maybe? or wisteria? Any other suggestions? :)



Can you see what looks almost like a white cross in the distance?



Here is a closer view:



The emperor Napoleon the 3rd (1808-1873) had all these signs built into the forest at many crossroads so that the empress, Eugénie, could ride her horse and never get lost. Isn’t it clever?



There are some flowers left on the paths, but there are less and less (apart from all the gorgeous heathers which were like a carpet in Ermenonville’s Forest during my hike on Friday evening, of course!).



The Armistice Glade in Rethondes (where the armistice of WWI was signed on 11 November 1918) was the Northern point of my hike today. Always very moving...





(The Monument represents an eagle pierced by a sword.)

Back on the path... sometimes easy...



... sometimes tough...



On the morning, a trail had taken place in the forest. I was so glad I went hiking in the afternoon and not on the morning like I had thought I would do at first! Imagine sharing my hiking path with hundreds of runners... :(





I guess the paint on the grass will disappear fairly soon. But I hope they remove all the plastic signs this week!

The last part of my hike was probably the busiest (I saw people!!! hehe! some walking, some cycling...). The hottest too, as there was no shade at all. But it was gorgeous...



This is the ‘esplanade’ I had mentioned at the beginning... It was amazing to know from the start the castle was there somewhere in the distance, and to slowly see it appearing.



I like this photo of the sun playing in the tall grass...

But my favorite is probably this one:



This young boy had chosen the best place to stop after his bike ride!

One last view of the castle in the early evening light...



Many thanks for reading! I think I’ll sleep very well tonight! Have a beautiful week!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post:
KAREN91 10/2/2012 9:01AM

    I'm going back and reading your previous blogs because I love your pix. I think you must love history, flowers, and castles. I can relate, as those are some of my interests as well. Thanks for sharing your hikes and your country as well! I post every day the things I'm grateful for - one thing I'm thankful for is your pix! emoticon emoticon

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LUCINDARW 9/22/2012 4:37PM

    Congratulations on meeting your goal! The pictures and beautiful areas you photograph are awesome! Thank you for sharing them with us. Lucinda

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SHOOPETTE 9/16/2012 8:03AM

    wow, magnifique ballade et record!

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TDWANDD2MYK9 9/16/2012 7:43AM

    wOw!!! You have every reason to be proud. Lovely blog. emoticon emoticon

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FITFORMYFAMILY 9/14/2012 10:07PM

    Congratulations, Claire! I know how much that goal meant to you and I am so happy that you achieved it. And wow... what a beautiful area to achieve it in! The pictures are incredible as always. Thank you so much for sharing your special achievement (and the rest of the journey!) with us!

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AGK3112 9/14/2012 5:52PM

    Nice. Your pics are really great and your hiking place is also nice. Great. Keep Enjoying your hiking..Take Care and have wonderful weekend

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1BEACHWALKER 9/13/2012 11:37PM

    Congrats on your beautiful 5 hour hike!!! emoticon emoticon
I always think of castles having turrets! This place again reminds me of Pemberly in Pride and Prejudice - Darcy's sprawling estate. Regardless it is one awesome building! Love the walk up to up- how it opens up all the way to it!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LISALGB 9/13/2012 6:38PM

    WOW!!! You most certainly should be proud!! To make a 5 hour hike is no easy task. But, I knew you would meet that goal - I had all the confidence in the world!!
The castle and the woods are gorgeous. I would love to walk there too. And, how much fun would it be to ride there on horseback? Emporess Eugenie must have loved it.
Thank you for sharing your victory with us!! I am very proud of you, too!! Many congratulations, along with many hugs!!
Sending you lots of love from Tennessee!!
Oh, and a special thank you for the lovely sparkgoodie and sweet note. I always love to hear from you. You always make me smile and brighten my day.

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MILLIE5522 9/13/2012 5:21PM

    I have been so busy that I have only just got round to reading your wonderful blog. Thank you for sharing your walks with us all. I feel as though I have gone with you but without the effort! emoticon

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WILDASTER 9/13/2012 9:47AM

    Wow looks like a great hike! The castle is very pretty. I'm so happy that you are able to do the hiking that you so love. Congratulations!

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69NURSE 9/13/2012 9:18AM

    emoticon emoticon Thank you for sharing this beautiful adventure with us. 5 hours is a very long walk, but one worth every step. Congratulations on a job well done.

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EFFIEANNIE 9/13/2012 8:50AM

    It seems everywhere you go there is such spectacular pictures! You are lucky to be in such a beautiful part of the world! Thank you for all your lovely blogs.

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HICKOK-HALEY 9/12/2012 8:01AM

    5 hours emoticon I love the garden. So many different flowers and colors.
The feathery blue is a great contrast to the peachy and yellow flowers. Would the structure be strong enough for grapes? That was my first thought. Or maybe a Morning Glory type of vine. I like the signs in the road, and yes, a great idea. My Grandfather Hickok name is Eugene. Again, probably pronounced differently. Thank you for the pictures. You should be proud! emoticon

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JENNA54 9/12/2012 12:36AM

    this looks gorgeous Claire. What a marvellous effort, well done!

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MINIUM 9/11/2012 3:35AM

    I'm SO proud of you too! Well done! And what a fabulous hike! Your pictures and the weather are gorgeous. I'm so glad you took us with you on this wonderful afternoon.

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MARITIMER3 9/10/2012 10:26PM

    You deserve to be very proud for hiking for 5 hours! I love the signposts and the story about Napoleon and Josephine. I hope too that they take down the plastic tape. Do you call the yellow flowers black-eyed Susans? That's what we know them as. I gave some cuttings to Siobhanand Will this spring for their garden. Tristan and Nathan, Will's 4-year-old twins, have paintings of these flowers above their beds. They were painted by the boys' great grandmother, who has since died.


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MADAMES 9/10/2012 8:00PM

    Beautiful pictures of your memorable hike! Yes, I do love how the castle appears to come closer and closer in view. I love the historical markers built by Napoleon and the memorial of the armistice !! A wonderful blog!!!

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SAFARIBABE 9/10/2012 6:24PM

    Sounds like a great hike!!! Congrats on the distance PB!!! Great accomplishment! So what's planned for next week?

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KIMPY225 9/10/2012 3:51PM

    emoticon emoticon

That sounds amazing! I love the pictures too!

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SWAN47 9/10/2012 3:15PM

    Looks like a beautiful day for hiking. I haven't hiked since my big hike in August. Thanks for sharing such beauty. emoticon

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OFFANDAWAY 9/10/2012 1:54PM

    Beautiful pictures!

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TINAJANE76 9/10/2012 12:48PM

    Congratulations on your hike and thanks for sharing the photos. As always, they're gorgeous!

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KANSASROSE67 9/10/2012 12:28PM

    It sounds wonderful! It would such a joy to live near so many wonderful places to visit. Great job on the LONG hike!

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LINDAKAY228 9/10/2012 11:33AM

    Wow I am so happy that you met one of your goals! That's amazing! And with the heat too. The pictures are so beautiful. It would have been diffiult with all the runners so it worked out well for you. You are doing so awesome!

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CELLISTA1 9/10/2012 11:25AM

    I understand how proud you are of yourself for this amazing accomplishment -- and I am proud of you too! Nothing can stop you now.

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MARYELLEN301 9/10/2012 11:05AM

    How beautiful! Do you think the arbor maybe once was for grapes for the wonderful wine/Champagne you folks are so good at producing? Nah, probably too tall for that, but it could hold a tremendous amount if it was a grape arbor. And congratulations on soldiering on through the heat to accomplish your goal. Job well done!

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AGK3112 9/10/2012 11:00AM

    emoticon

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SARAWALKS 9/10/2012 9:50AM

    Good morning! I bet you did sleep well! FIVE HOURS, you really should be proud! Have a lovely week. emoticon emoticon

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FIT_MAMA_2_FOUR 9/10/2012 9:29AM

    WOW!!!!! What a hike and the pics are beautiful! Great job:)

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DOODIE59 9/10/2012 8:36AM

    Hiking is a fabulous way to explore a place or community -- wish I was there with you:)
Deirdre

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ILOVEROSES 9/10/2012 8:13AM

    Congratulations Claire! WOW! 5 hours/20km! Well done! Love the photos and especially the signs in the forest.
It just so happens that we are going to National Gallery to see an exhibition "Napoleon: Revolution to Empire" tomorrow afternoon. That should be a fascinating story of Napoleon Bonaparte through 300 artworks including paintings, sculpture, furniture, textiles, porcelain, gold & silver, fashion and jewellery.
Ania emoticon

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INGMARIE 9/10/2012 7:43AM

    Beautiful as usual.
congrats on the long hike. well donr. emoticon

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BAKER1009 9/10/2012 7:42AM

    Wow Claire, that is absolutely beautiful. My how I wish there were hikes around here I could take where I would see this type of scenery! For now, I'll just have to live through you and your beautiful blogs!
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So proud of you for accomplishing a goal you set out to do! Keep up the great work!

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Beth

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DMF2012 9/10/2012 6:35AM

    emoticon

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SWEDE_SU 9/10/2012 6:15AM

    that's terrific! and how beautiful - just love your photos. congratulations on your accomplishment!

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LIZALOT 9/10/2012 4:19AM

    Congratulations!! what an exploit!!! and it looks lovely.
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BLOOMINGLENA 9/10/2012 2:52AM

    You did it! Congratulations! Well done! And what a beautiful place! Nice pics! I would love to be there and join you the next time! Keep up the good work! Have a nice week! emoticon emoticon

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NUOVAELLE 9/10/2012 2:28AM

    5 hours? 20 km? Of course you should be proud of yourself! It was like a hiking half-marathon! Well done, Claire!
From today's photos I really liked the signs in the forest and the monument with the eagle - so touching!
Thank you for my morning virtual trip to Compiegne! I really enjoyed it!
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GOANNA2 9/10/2012 1:39AM

    What a beautiful hike and those pictures are truly beautiful.
You will sleep well tonight. Five hours is an amazing feat.
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STRIVER57 9/10/2012 1:04AM

    felicitations! that's great! and it was gorgeous.

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REGILIEH 9/10/2012 12:49AM

    Congratulations!!! Thank you for the beautiful writings and the pictures! INCREDIBLE!!!

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CHRISKENANDKIDS 9/9/2012 11:04PM

    I'm so jealous! I walked 12 miles today, too, but your scenery is so much more beautiful than mine (in Wisconsin). :) Congratulations!

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KENDRACARROLL 9/9/2012 10:15PM

    Beautiful!
And congratulations on meeting your goal.
Happy trails.

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QUILTINGB52 9/9/2012 9:37PM

    Only once did I try a 25K walk.....never made it to the end, had to be picked up and deposited at my car!

CONGRATULATIONS for pushing yourself and walking for 5 hours!! WOW!!

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PAMATX 9/9/2012 8:42PM

    5 miles! Good for you! And such lovely photos.

emoticon emoticon emoticon

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GETSTRONGRRR 9/9/2012 7:46PM

    Congratulations! 5 hours is no easy feat, but it really helps to have beautiful views all around you!.

You should be proud of your accomplishment.....and start planning your 6-hour hike!

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KATHYJO56 9/9/2012 7:42PM

    Claire, I love reading your blogs and looking at the pictures. I feel like I was there with you. You give wonderful descriptions and the things I am learning just amaze me. I am sure that watching the castle get closer and closer kept you motivated; plus you needed to get to your car. LOL Walking that distance is truly amazing and I am happy for you that you met this wonderful goal. I look forward to our next hike together. emoticon

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FITMAY 9/9/2012 7:25PM

    This is emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
There is a emoticon in my mind for you right now... keep it up dear friend... all your goals are within reach emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

I spent a very lazy day at home... then we decided to cook and eat outside in the porch... not to mention I had one to many glasses of wine... don't regret it one drop though... LOL emoticon
Sending love and emoticon from SC...
Let's have a great week together...
May

Comment edited on: 9/9/2012 7:33:59 PM

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JACKIE542 9/9/2012 7:00PM

    What a beautiful hike, a great trail to get your 5 hours on. Time must go quickly when you are in a beautiful place, Congratulations!
You are so lucky you went later for your walk or you might have had to start running, with the runners, lo.
Thank you for taking us along. Sleep well. emoticon emoticon

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1CRAZYDOG 9/9/2012 6:55PM

    Oh my dear, I am proud of your accomplishment too! FIVE MILES! That is fantastic! What beautiful scenery . . . the castle, the gated fence (I'd bet climbing roses grew there), the directional post with signs (indeed clever!), and as always the beautiful flowers. Excellent accomplishment!!! And all that with the heat! You have courage and stamina!

Thank you for sharing this accomplished hike with gorgeous pictures.


HUGS to you and proud of you!

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