We were seated on a bench in front of the Terrace of our Inn (See Our Tips) looking out over the Loing at the Pre de Pin, when suddenly a tour bus arrived there and disgorged two dozen well-dressed Japanese, each carrying collapsible stools ,pads or boards and paint sets. Before you could recite a haiku they wer each busy at work painting and sketching. After two hours, they were through and whisked away. After if Sisley could paint fast, why couldn't they? Did one of them buy a van Gogh at Sotheby's?. Times were much better in Japan back then.
A Place to Fish?
All it takes to fish here is some information, time and patience (and probably a license). From the speed of the water wheel, the current is fast. I wonder if there are rods for rent with appropriate bait. Do you think these are local types? (Of course I cannot afford the time for such an activity when in France). I bet the local chefs would prepare your catch for dinner.
A Place to Stay in the Ile -de-France
"Far from the Crowd"
The Ile de France surrounds Paris. Only 50 km away from the Paris center you are in rural France. There are numerous charming towns with good accommodations. Parisians often go to them to relax. Tourists seem to avoid them or come to them for the day only if they have "block-buster" sites (like Fontainbleau or Chartres).
When we have toured France by car, we became accustomed to not staying in Paris. Rather we rented a car, picking it up as soon as we were cleared of our arrival and returning on the morning of our departure back to the USA. These terminal overrnight stops at the front and back of our trips allowed us to see the Ile.
Sisley spent his last years painting here and you can see why. There are pleasant Inns and excellent food, no pressure and sights of interest. We have described many of these experiences, even going beyond the Ile into adjacent Picardie or as close as Chartres. It is better than driving around the Loire valley
"The River Loing dominates the scenery in Moret"
On the ancient main road from Paris to Lyon, Moret grew up at the ford used to cross the Loing River. During the Middle Ages the river was crossed via a bridge which was later protected by a fortified town. Two fortified gates remain well preserved at either end of the main street (Rue Grande): in the east the Burgundy Gate and at the west the Samois Gate. No prize for guessing where the roads through these gates lead.
There are buildings with waterwheels offset on small islands in the stream along the main bridge over the Loing. They are former tannery and grain mills re-built as houses after being damaged in modern times.
The River Loing flows into the Seine a few kms north of Moret and the town provides a port for pleasure boats at the junction of the river and the canal system traversing western Burgundy.
Much is made of Alfred Sisley, the impressionist painter who chose not only to paint scenes in the area but to live the last years of his life here. Amis d'Alfred Sisley keep his memory alive and hold art shows. It is recommended that you seek the house in which he lived and his burial site .
Napoleon Bonaparte has a connection. On the night of 19 March 1815 he spent his last night on the road here on his way back to Paris after escaping from Elba. The next day was the start of the one hundred days culminating in Waterloo.
"Ancient Royal City"
Moret boasts architectural features worthy of a visit. The Castle Keep, Notre-Dame Church, Francois 1er Facade and timbered houses are all worth a visit.
The Keep gets a mention when you visit the Chateau Vaux le Vicomte which was built by Nicolas Fouquet, Louis XIV, the Sun King's finance minister. When Louis visited the chateau he was so jealous he arrested Fouquet. He was imprisoned in the Keep in 1664 by the King. The legendary musketeer D'Artagnan was part of the garrison guarding him.