We spent a wonderful weekend with our friends in Montesson. On Saturday we set off early for a trip out to Château Anet and then on to Les Andelys in Normandy. The château is especially noted for its exterior, notably the statues of Diane de Poitiers as Diana, goddess of the hunt, by Jean Goujon, and the relief by Cellini over the portal. Anet was the site of one of the first Italianate parterre gardens centred on the building's facade in France. It was built for Diane de Poitiers, the mistress of Henry II of France as a gift for her. After our guided visit around the château I sat at a café in blazing sunshine  and sketched the upper section of the famous Cellini portal which I reproduce below. 

We then stopped for a picnic en route for Les Andelys and Château Gaillard. This fortress was dreamed of, skillfully designed and built by the fiery Richard I of England, feudal Duke of Normandy, better known as Richard the Lionheart. Eight hundred years later, Chateau-Gaillard offers living proof that this celebrated ruler really existed. Its stones give an idea of Richard's nature. Like its creator, the stronghold of Les Andelys calls to mind strength, power, invincibility.

 The imposing ruins of Château Gaillard

On Sunday we enjoyed lunch in the Parc des Sephoras together with guests from Montesson's German twin town of Baesweiler. I was photographed with the newly appointed Miss Montesson, Michele Douzobeu. That's me on the left !

Jeannette with the newly appointed Miss Montesson, Michele Douzobeu. Photograph by kind permission of thamenews.net