Nicolas was waiting for us at the Pigalle métro station and we were on our way together to the Bois de Vincennes. Catherine enjoyed the Aquarium Tropical in the Palais de la Porte Dorée watching the unicorn fish, fish that looked like they had LED eyes and broccoli coral with moving tentacles. There were also white crocodiles and alligators from Mississippi. I really wanted to see the Château de Vincennes which was built by Charles V and completed in about 1370. After walking for over an hour, we finally reached the château but the ticket area was on the completely opposite side. Unfortunately for us, the château area is about the size of a small city and we now had to walk around it. This adventure had taken so much time that Nicolas had to leave in order to catch his train for Poitiers. It seemed like a very sad goodbye but perhaps Nicolas will be able to return to see us in Milwaukee again some day.
All that walking had made us extremely hungry. This neighborhood seemed very upscale with very wide tiled sidewalks lined with beautiful stores and apartments. A cute little shop caught our eye and they had Sunday brunch. We went in, sat down and almost ordered but we noticed that the price of the five course brunch was 29 euros. Anne thought that was ridiculous so we simply walked out. Luckily we found a McDonald's around the corner. It was very crowded and we ordered on computer screens and by the time we had payed for our food it was already ready.
Refreshed, we walked over the drawbridge and into the château. The top of the donjon is the tallest medieval donjon in France. We climbed several stories of stairs and just when we thought we couldn't climb one more story, up we went and climbed another. The craftsmanship of the fourteenth century builders is always amazing. Bob is always fascinated by the thick heavy doors and the original iron hardware. The chapel which was modeled after St-Chapelle on the Île de la Cité was especially beautiful. The floor to ceiling stained glass windows in yellow and blue and the large rose window with a burst of orange in the center were stunning with the sun streaming through.
We made it home and up the two flights of stairs to our apartment despite the fact that Anne is now feeling very sick. Bob and I left to take our clothes to the laverie which is actually a nice evening out amid the very friendly people of our neighborhood.