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A castle, a medieval Queen's path, and a beautiful roe deer... a perfect Sunday hike!

Monday, September 17, 2012

If you ever went to Corbeil-Cerf, a village of 322 inhabitants between Paris and Beauvais (North), and slowed down as you entered the village, passing by the castle's gates, you would see this...

Not too bad... but maybe, like me, it would leave you wanting to see more! The Heritage Days (Journées du Patrimoine) took place everywhere in France this weekend and, each year, I try to make the most of them by visiting a place that isn't usually open to the public. And this year of course, I pushed the gates of Corbeil-Cerf's castle.

The castle itself wasn't open to the public, but I still enjoyed the visit very much... I found the park simple and elegant, and it was great to be able to be closer to the castle, built in the 16th and 17th centuries.

One thing I learned which I found wonderful is that the castle has remained in the Lubersac family (the original owners) since the 16th century!

The gardens must be beautiful when the roses are in full bloom. There were very few left and they didn't look at their best.

I loved these olearia (daisy bush) and sleepy white poppy though! :)

The reason why I had identified Corbeil-Cerf in the first place was a hike of course! One of my guide books has a hike in the area. So, after the park's visit, I set off for my hike, first passing by Sainte-Honorine church (13th and 16th centuries)...

... saying hello to a Labrador who was kind enough not to bark at me...

... stopping on the way to take some pictures of the school/town hall which to me looked like a doll's house...

And then I was off on the paths, through woods and fields!

I was very glad I had brought my usual crossover bag. On Saturday I had a backpack and really I couldn't cope with it... Each time I needed something - camera, water, guide book, tissue... - it was a nightmare (but carrying 2.5 L/10.5 cups of water in a crossover type of bag isn't very practical). I need to find a good solution for the future! What do you do for your hikes?
[EDIT: I love KRICKET4's suggestion, a hip/lumbar pack! I'll definitely check it out!]

I enjoyed the few wild flowers left, even the dried ones...

... and then I was on the 'Chemin de la Reine Blanche' (Queen Blanche of Castille's Path), which was the path the Queen (1188-1252) used when travelling North from Paris. Hmmm would you have guessed?

I think it looks like a pretty normal little countryside path nowadays! :) But after all, she died 760 years ago and many things have changed in the meantime!!!

As I was happily walking on that path, having crossed some woods and getting ready to get back to my starting point, I had the surprise of seeing the back of Corbeil-Cerf's castle...

But that wasn't the most wonderful surprise of the day. As I was admiring the castle, I noticed an animal running as fast as it could...

It was a female roe deer, running away from a hunter (I had met one earlier in the forest she was running away from). I am so glad he didn't get her! I hope he never does!

And then the roe deer reached the path I was walking on... And turned and looked at me (my heart melted!)...

Although I tried to offer my friendliest smile (!) and especially to move as little as possible, I think I looked a bit too human and dangerous to her and she ran away again as quickly as she could!

Thank you Mademoiselle Roe Deer, you made my day. You were so close I could take a good picture of you, not blurred. And it was so special meeting you so close to Paris!

Now I am writing this blog during my lunch break in the office on Monday and it feels almost like this never happened... So perfect it is almost unreal!

I hope your week started very well! Many thanks for all your kind comments and encouragements on my previous blog, 'Discovering a beautiful village...'. It was great to see it featured in the SP daily email!

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    975 days ago
    Such beautiful places to see while you walk, I wish I was there too. ;)
    1994 days ago
  • KAREN91
    Beautiful pix as always! I've always wanted to see France and thanks to you I feel like I have to some degree! You are such a wonderful person for sharing your hikes with us! The picture of the doe was great, I loved the castle! I bet you wish it was open to the public! I hope you always keep sharing your great pix with us! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon Your pix make my day!
    1998 days ago
    Beautiful pictures!
    2006 days ago

    Excellent pictures! Thank you for sharing them! Do you think there's a chance that the first castle is for sale? haha! I'd love to have it!

    2007 days ago
  • BEWELL48
    Your pictures are just beautiful! Stumbled on your blog, drawn to your name since I am a Claire too! Thank you for posting!
    2008 days ago
    I love your blogs with all the wonderful pictures! You are truly a talented photographer! I have to go back and check out all your other blogs now to read and see what you have in pictures! Keep them coming it's the only way I get to see the world. Lucinda
    2008 days ago
    Just lovely ~ lovely ~ You have a real gift for photography. Beautiful composition!

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    2008 days ago
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful photos!
    2009 days ago
    What a beautiful and expressive blog post. The walking path you were on sure beats the one behind my house! Lol.

    2009 days ago
    Lovely Blog Claire. I loved it. So beautiful and so well preserved. They built them right in those days, Hugs Pat in Maine.

    HUGS I hope work is going well for you (((HUGS))) Pat emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2010 days ago
  • QTEALADY20031
    Hi, I am so glad to be back as my computer was down for several days. What a beautiful blog! I am hoping the hunter never did catch up with the roe deer. The castle is quite a site. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful pictures which makes us feel that we are accompanying you on your hike. I think that a back pack might be your answer to carrying the water, etc. A crossover bag would put too much weight to one side where the backpack would distribute it evenly for you. Thank you again for sharing. emoticon June
    2010 days ago
    You really have a way with words and pictures. Thanks so much for this blog. It was like a lovely little vacation!
    2010 days ago
    Such a beautiful blog! And Mlle. Deer is lovely. I'm glad she got away.
    That garland-like effect with the trees near the castle is amazing and beautiful! I wonder how they accomplish that trick. Thank you for sharing! has lots of interesting packs of different types...but again, I've never carried that much water either so don't quite know what you're dealing with.
    Have a great jeudi et vendredi, Claire! emoticon
    2011 days ago
    Another glorious hike! You definitely have a way with animals. They must recognize you as a kindred spirit...a fellow wanderer through the woods.
    2011 days ago
  • AGK3112
    I always love your pictures. It sure says that the place you are living is really good and you also love photography. I sure would say keep enjoying and keep working on your goals. Take Care emoticon once again for sharing
    2011 days ago
    Love the pictures of the deer, but it's scary that people are hunting so close to where you are hunting.

    We have an event in Ontario,at least, maybe other parts of Canada, called "Doors Open", which is similar to your Heritage Days. It is always very popular, with huge line-ups at some of the more popular locations.

    As for the backpack/crossover bag/other options, I'd pick the backpack (I have a Northface day pack which my son gave me), as long as it has really side straps and a waist strap. I must admit though that I don't carry that much water, which would be really heavy.

    Love the daisy bush (never seen one) and the white poppy.

    2011 days ago
    The Deer was precious. I'm also glad the Deer got away from the hunter. Love the picture of the dried flowers. They would look good in a Vase. I also like the Sun peeping through the trees. I can see the rays. I love Labs. One of my favorite breeds. Nothing like a mellow dog lol. Looks like your day was fun!
    2011 days ago
    So nice! Thank you for sharing this little walk. Lovely.
    2011 days ago
    The deer is so beautiful - I just love to watch them. This is a wonderful place for a hike - no wonder you had such a good time.
    The castle is fascinating. I just love that it has remained in the same family for all these many years. That alone is amazing.
    Thank you for always taking us to such lovely places, Claire. I just love your beautiful blogs!!
    Sending hugs!!
    2012 days ago
  • NAN041
    Each of your blogs have a unique theme..
    making them so enjoyable.
    We are fortunate having you as a friend. Nan
    2012 days ago
    I haven't been on Spark for a while but went right to your page to read a blog. It always does my heart good. Being able to interact with wildlife, even for a few moments, is so magical, isn't is? Thank you for all your lovely pictures.
    I'll be a few countries away from you at the end of the week... I'll be vacationing in Ireland for 2 weeks. I'm looking forward to many country walks and breathtaking scenery.
    2012 days ago
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    2012 days ago
    Love your blogs and the fact that you invite us to come along on your walks/hikes. What gorgeous pictures. Thank you for sharing them with us.
    I lived in Paris for 4 months, many years ago (1 year in Lyon; I was born and raised in Germany) and wished I had explored the country side, outside Paris. More so, I wished I had known you then.
    2013 days ago
    National Geographic (or some similar publication) ought to hire you.
    2013 days ago
    Thank you for another unique and lovely trip. Imagine a Family staying in one place that long.Your Summer seems to be winding down as ours is, but each season has it beauty and uniqueness. The Doe was a pleasant surprise and I am with you. I am glad she was able to side step the hunter. Thank you again for a tour of your beautiful Country. emoticon
    2013 days ago
  • DOODIE59
    What a lovely moment -- that deer captures the magic of the day. Thank, as ever, for sharing.
    2013 days ago
  • 69NURSE
    What an awesome blog! Thank you so much for sharing. It was beautiful and gave me a view of an area I feel certain I will never see myself. How lucky you are to find such historical beauty.

    Continue to enjoy your hikes and share them lovingly with others.
    2013 days ago
    Such beauty! I adore the picture of the deer and hope she continues to outrun hunters!

    Thank you as always for sharing this beautiful hike. Your pictures are definitely works of art.
    2013 days ago
    I am new to your blog (this is my second one) and I must say I love them. The pictures are great. It must be wonderful to live in a place with so much history. I would love to go ona hike and see some castles in the distance. Keep up the good work!
    2013 days ago
    I hope the little deer lives on...
    2013 days ago
    You go on the coolest hikes EVER! Love the photos, the history and the deer. I'm really glad the hunter didn't get her too!
    2013 days ago
    Such a nice informative blog-love the history part of it. Like knowing you walked on the same path the Queen used 760 years ago!!! emoticon
    Loved the castle, of course!! I guess castles don't always have those tall turrets! We saw another one on TV recently and it didn't I learn something new everyday! Wonder how it has to be built in order to be called a castle-will have to look that up online!! Too bad the castle here seems to be having some neglect to it! I am sure it isn't cheap to keep it up!
    I have never gone on a hike as long as you, so never have used a backpack. My husband has many years ago, and his were overnight trips.
    Good for you that you are still hiking and enjoying them. We feel like we are right there with you!!! emoticon emoticon

    Oh, I meant to tell you that the one shot of the church window with the daisies surrounding it was a perfect artistic shot! Great job!!! You have a good eye with photography!!! emoticon
    2013 days ago

    Comment edited on: 9/17/2012 5:32:13 PM
    Another wonderful trip in the country and what a pleasant surprise at the end of your hike!!

    For your water concerns I would suggest trying a "Camel Bak". We used to use them when we went biking...I'm certain it would fit your needs as they have many different options. If you have access to a bicycle shop, you might check with them first.
    2013 days ago
    Tres belles, ces photos!! Tu as raison, cette randonnee etait parfaite!!

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    2013 days ago
    Beautiful,thanks for sharing!
    2013 days ago
    as usual, thank you for taking your dear readers with you on this hike! beautiful pictures, love the deer!
    2013 days ago
  • HOLLYM48
    As ususal, what a great blog! Thanks for all the beautiful pictures and another great scenic view of the Parisian country side. I have discovered a whole new beauty that I really want to see next time I go to Paris. I hope you have a wonderful week! emoticon
    2013 days ago
    that's the school and the mairie? that little doll house? i feel like it must get boring reading my same comment every week (and twice this weekend), but beautiful blog, Claire. it's your eyes that make the photos so great.
    2013 days ago
    What an incredible hike you had! The castle was so beautiful and to think that it has been in the same family since the 16th century. As you know, we don't have any buildings nearly this old in The United States and I find yours fascinating. Someday, I would love to come and visit such wonderful places. emoticon
    2013 days ago
    How picturesque!
    And that wonderful encounter - priceless!
    Have a lovely Monday evening,
    2013 days ago
    Thank you so much for sharing these gorgeous photos with us! I have never been in Europe and probably never will be, so I appreciate the trip though your camera lens! The deer was gorgeous, too, you were indeed blessed to get the photo of her standing still. Hard to believe that those buildings have stood where they are for about 700 years! emoticon
    2013 days ago
  • LINDAK25
    More spectacular photos! I live in North Carolina now and we don't see too many deer where we live, but when we lived in northwestern New Jersey we had a herd of deer that had taken over our neighborhood. Unfortunately, some of the neighbors were feeding them. They're not so cute when they're eating your shrubs and flowers! I used to call daisies, deer candy.

    There are back packs and day packs that have hydration packs in them. You fill the hydration pack and you drink out of a tube, You don't have to remove the pack to get water.
    2013 days ago
    Thanks for this gorgeous blog Claire. How lovely to see the deer so close. I do hope the hunter didn't get her. I hate the hunting season!
    You make me feel a bit of a fool though, (in the kindest sort of way) because I live so near all this and I have never, ever explored it. Isn't it about time I got out and about a bit further?

    2013 days ago
    Merci. You are a wonderful journalist! The photos are spectacular.
    Hope you have a great week. emoticon
    2013 days ago
    She was beautiful! The castle grounds looked very beautiful and well kept. I'm glad you had a good hike!

    Have a great week!
    2013 days ago
    So beautiful! thanks for sharing. I must tell you I have always enjoyed hiking but your blogs have inspired me to get out and discover new hiking paths in my own community. My husband is a good photographer so I have encouraged him to bring along his camera when we go. We did our fist hike last night and I am going to plan one each weekend until it snows! Thank you for your wonderful perspective of beautiful France.
    2013 days ago
    Such lovely areas and you got such great pics of the deer! That's not always easy to do because they are so quick. I notice it seems like you hike alone most of the time. I do too. I get concerned comments sometimes from people who worry that it's not safe. But although I like hiking with a friend, I also love the alone time in the beauty of nature and how it refreshes my soul. I think there is more risk of getting hit by a car in town although reasonable precautions when hiking alone are of course sensible. But it is so revitalizing too!
    Have a great day!
    2013 days ago
    Beautiful as usual, I specially loved the deer surprise at the end.... just lovely!
    Have a great week dear friend! Love from South Carolina!
    2013 days ago
  • DMF2012
    Beautiful, as always, and how lucky for you to see the deer so closely! Thanks for sharing!
    2013 days ago
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