French Mum, humanitarian, restless explorer and doer on sabbatical in Cebu (Philippines): one Attila in each arm, I am exploring the “toddlers safe” corners of the region, while trying to keep some room for Me.
Was I just being talking to an elf?
I don’t even dare opening my fist. When I finally do, I can finally breath again : the Golden key of the castle is here ! The castle is mine till dawn!!!
The Palace of Fontainebleau has always excited my imagination. It resonates with warm memories from my childhood, playing hide and seek in its park, eating an ice cream on a rowing boat, wandering among its statutes and smelling the sweet flagrance of its exotic flowers. Growing up, I would spend hours meandering in its galleries and apartments. I would totally lose track of time in the bedrooms of the Kings and the Emperors. What would they read? What would they look like in the morning? I so wanted to sit down on Napoleon’s bed, just for a minute! What’s in those cupboards?
If only I could stay here a bit longer than the usual visiting times. Most of all, if only I could go beyond this stupid red ribbon..
“Tonight I can! The Golden Key is mine!” Just thinking of my next step made my head spin..
I am heading straight to Heaven: the library of Napoleon Bonaparte!
The silence is deafening. The sweet perfume of old books, with a glimpse of wood, is intoxicating. From the severe chairs, the secretive books, to the soft sofa to and the austere office, every single inch of the room seem to be wrapped in sacred.
Isn’t it ironic to think that the most powerful men who have tread upon the bloodiest battlefields have been outlived by.. furnitures!
So many books. I know Napoleon only slept 3 to 4h a night, but did he read them all? What would have been his favorite? I close my eyes, spin around and took the one my finger is pointing. My pashmina will protect him until we reach our own private library…
I have always been intrigued by “Le Pavillon de l’Etang” (Pond Pavillon). It appears to float on the water and is only accessible by boat. The guides will tell you that it was enjoyed by several sovereigns during private events and dinners for its extraordinary view of the château. They will insist on “private”, with a smile that would say it all. End of the story. I had browsed frantically on the web to find pictures of the interior of the Pavillon. Nothing. It is said to be in dire needs of restoration. But tonight, tonight only, the golden key will open its holy doors!
I could not guess it would take me so long to maneuver the rowing boat. It seemed so easy when I was the one sunbathing. The daybreak is already painting the waters. I am rowing harder and faster, and the Pavilion seems to come closer.
But in a fraction of seconds, I am sent back to the bank. The elf calls my name, pointing at the empty palm of his hand.
Too bad, so closed! But a deal is a deal, I give back him the Golden key. The adrenalin gone, I can feel the early morning chills itching my noise.As I dig into my bag to get my pashmina, my heart suddenly stops: the book is here! I religiously take it out and blow away its dusts. It title says “the secrets of the Pond Pavilion”. I sit down against on a bank overlooking the Pavilion and open the book. Dear Pavilion, I am all ears!
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