The weather this October has been crisp and sunny, and so we have taken advantage of these stunning bright days to visit the countryside. Crecy-la-Chapelle is about 40 km from Paris by train. You take the E to Esbly and then switch to a tram which runs between Esbly and Crecy and is timed to the hourly Paris train. The trip takes about an hour. It is in the heart of the brie region and we hoped to visit the Sunday market and buy from local cheese makers.
The view to the left is of a long promenade by a moat with small bridges going to the back gardens of houses along the way; we will return to the station by this route, but started the walk by heading into the town and market square.
The market on Sunday is set up to the right here; unfortunately as a result of a train mixup we got there just as the market was folding up and so missed out on the lady with the locally made cheese. On Sundays according to the train system’s own web site one takes a bus rather than the tram to Crecy from Esbly and so we missed the tram while standing at the bus stop and spent an hour in Esbly. We had our Nook and Kindle and it was a lovely day; still not a place one wishes to spend an hour. Since it was Sunday, even the cafe and buvette were closed.
Since we missed the market, we decided to have lunch in a cafe on the square where many locals were having Sunday dinner.
The specialty seemed to be seafood and a number of residents were enjoying Sunday blowouts of pate followed by oysters, shrimp, tulip glasses of snails, and assorted shell fish. Many others were having mussels in some sort of sauce.
After lunch we headed around the corner to another moat. The boys teasing fish at the head of this post were in a wash house on this moat. There appeared to be good size trout in this fast running water fueled by the Morin River.
This is a nice stroll with wash houses accessible to passersby on this side of the moat; they looked like a great place for a picnic.This wash house belongs to the homeowners on the other side of the stream. There are dozens of these small private landing spots originally designed for laundry but now adapted as boat landings, fishing perches and places to just enjoy the water.
We continued through a covered passageway that dates from the 12th century and brought us to a street that led us to the River Morin painted by several of the artists that worked in the town.
At the end of this street we crossed a bridge above the mill wheel on the way to the parish church of the town.
About the time we arrived at the locked church, some locals were arriving to ready it for a later service and so we got a look inside.
This is a busy local church but not the chapel i.e. ‘La Chapelle’ for which the town is named and so our next venture was the mile long walk to the chapel on the outskirts. But first we detoured down another street, ‘Rue de la Halle,’ to view another moat. These four British tourists were the only other outside visitors we saw this day. Crecy is beautiful but not heavily touristed apparently.
The first half mile of the stroll to the chapel is along another moat; note another wash house tucked into the wall to the left. This path took us past tennis courts, soccer fields and eventually ends at a swimming pool where we then walked the final half mile on a sidewalk along a busy road that links Crecy with the next village Serronne.
We were not quite prepared for its elegant gothic interior. The chapel is often locked and only viewed through a screened doorway, but we were lucky. There was a woman giving some sort of lecture on the church to a small group and so it was unlocked and we were able to see the inside clearly.
Crecy -la- Chapelle is a delightful day trip from Paris. If one has more time and energy there are paths that lead to other villages in the area. The many moats and alleys and perches near the water make Crecy an ideal spot for people like us who particularly enjoy the beauties of country streams.