The French game of Boules is also known as Petaneque.
The object of the game is to throw your ball as close the target ball (cochonnet) as possible. the closest wins.
This is not just a local custom in Compeigne, but all over France it is common to see the French, usually old men playing in parks.
Five Km Walk
All the way from the Chateau in Compiegne there is clearing through the forest to Beau Monts (Beautiful Mountain). It is possibe to walk all the way. From the top are wonderful views of the surrounding area. This is called to 5km walk!
The Forest of Compiegne for centuries was the hunting ground for French Royalty. If we were up and about early enough we always saw some deer here.
A very pleasant little town some 20 or so miles north of Paris. Not somewhere I would have headed for were it not for its most famous modern role - the starting point of the annual Paris-Roubaix cycle race. On the day of the race the town is transformed into a hive of activity as pro cycle teams, television crews, press and fans alike swarm into the town for the start. Amid all this chaos I took the chance to wander the streets and found a pleasant enough typical French town with a huge chateau on the outskirts of town. Compiegne is also place where the first world war armistice was signed 1918.
"Hotel de Ville"
The town hall is one of those very French looking affairs that predominate everywhere, but they do them so well.
Compiegne is a small city only 80km north of Paris. For centurys it was the country home for French Royalty, surrounded by the beautiful Forest of Compiegne. Apparently Compiegne is very popular with day trippers from Paris at the weekend.
Compiegne... ville de l
This exciting village is great for history buffs. In one area you have the Chateau de Compiegne, once habited by Napoleon I, the Armistice wagon where the peace treaty to end WWI was signed, and Pierrefonds, a midevil castle restored in the 19th century.
The Armistice was an interesting monument and museum. There is a clearing with statues commemorating the heros of the war. Inside the museum you can find thousands of original slides of the war, the effects of the bombing, and the aftermath and ruin caused by the war. It's a must see for anyone interesting in honoring and commemorating the soldiers who fought in this war. Also, the replica of the original wagon can be viewed.
The postcard below says " Building constructed in 1927 due to the initiative of M. Fournier Sarloveze, mayor of the city of Compiegne, and to the generosity of an American, Mr. Henry Flemming. In June 1940, the battle of France was lost, the clearing of trees destroyed. In 1950, the clearing was restored, the building reconstructed to hold a wagon of the same series."
"The wagon of the Armistice"
"Clearing at the Armistice"
"Statue at the Armistice clearing"
"To the memory of M. LeGarde... Olivier... and Brange who died for, or dissapeared during, World War I."
"Chateau de Compiegne: Home of Napoleon I"
This Chateau was really breathtaking, not as ornamented or gawdy as other French Chateaux like Versailles for example, but nice just the same. It was a weekend home for Napoleon the I and his Emporess, who only spent an average of two weeks a year there! No wonder the peasants revolted!!
"The ballroom at the castle."
"Bedroom of the Empress"