Gradually, as we drove west out of Switzerland and back into France, the weather improved. It was only temporary, however. We found a campground in the village of Villersexel. Shortly after we got our supplies, the skies opened again, this time with small hail. By early evening, skies had cleared and it was a nice evening on the French countryside again, where we were camped by a small river.
The next day, we wanted to get closer to Paris so we could get there early in the morning to inquire about prospects in the event of a controller strike, supposedly scheduled for Tuesday. Nothing much helpful came from our visit to the airport, so we drove in search of an old château to visit and a new campground. The village of Melun appealed, so here we are.
The village is on the Seine and our campground was partly under 1m of water two weeks ago. About 100 campground visitors had to be evacuated in the middle of the night. You can still see the high water mark on the bushes. This village had another devastating flood in 1910; a display in town shows the results. My navigator here points to the high water mark on roadside bushes in front of the campground.
The château visited was Vaux-le-Vicomte, constructed in the mid-1600s by Nicholas Fouquet. Vast spaces of very formal gardens, stone work, ponds, statues, and, of course, the château itself. It was a precarious existence, though, because the owner attracted the envy of King Louis XIV, who had him arrested. He spent the next 34 years imprisoned.
Château de Fontainebleau was also nearby, so my navigator visited that as well.
On Monday, we checked in at the airport again to hear that our airline supposedly is not to be affected in any labour troubles. Flights on Tuesday should be fine. Unfortunately, after spending 2 hours in horrific traffic on the "A" roads outside of Paris, we decided against going back south to Melun or to Chartres. Instead we went north and had a look at the cathedral at Senlis, dating from the 1100s. Senlis was once the home of French royalty until they began to favour other places like Fountainebleau.
Only the flights and the waiting left.
Update... A quick, 15 minute drive to the airport from Senlis. We were there before 7 am for a flight that is scheduled for 2 pm. The customer service guy offered us a flight with Air Canada that went thru Toronto and gets to YVR 90 minutes earlier. We took it.