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Josephine Baker's Castle in Castelnaud-la-Chapelle-France

Los Angeles
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Josephine Baker's Castle in Castelnaud-la-Chapelle-France

I would really like to visit this castle when I return to France month after next. Does anyone know how many hours it is, by car, from Paris? Or if not going by car, is there a way to get to the area by train and to what train station? And then how to get on to the castle from a train station?

If I have to rent a car and drive there, would I need an international driver's license? I've been going to France and Europe in general, almost annually, since the early-mid 70s, but have never rented a car I've always used public transportation to get around, on my own, in Europe. But, getting to this castle sounds like a challenge.

The website is www.milandes.com

Thanks for the help on this one. Smiles. Happy Travels!

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1. Re: Josephine Baker's Castle in Castelnaud-la-Chapelle-France

.....Happy Travels!

Tampa, Florida
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2. Re: Josephine Baker's Castle in Castelnaud-la-Chapelle-France

Hi, Guenmai -- been there several times -- it's really amazing as a chateau, but the museum there gives you an entirely new respect for Josephine...she was a truly amazing woman, and one who would be on my list in that conversation of "if you could invite 5 people from history for a dinner party, living or dead, who would they be?" From her breaking color barriers to her heroic work with the resistance, she was so much more than a pretty face.

It's about 6 hours' driving time from CDG -- a long trip. You could alternately take the TVG to Brive-la-Gaillarde and drive the last 1-1/2 hours -- only hitch there is you can't do it on a Sunday, as the rental offices are closed on Sunday.

I'd go by car -- you could take the regional train to Souillac, then hire a cab, but then you'd miss all the other wonderful things near Milandes.

The Dordogne is definitely not the city -- the public transport is fewer and further between, and it's far easier to drive, if you're comfortable doing so.

Driving in the Dordogne is interesting, at minimum-- winding roads and breathtaking vistas...just mind the road.

It's recommended that you get an international driving PERMIT (there isn't really any such creature as an international license) -- they're about $10 at AAA offices. I've gotten one exactly once...they're not mandatory in France.

Los Angeles
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3. Re: Josephine Baker's Castle in Castelnaud-la-Chapelle-France

Thanks, Sunshine. I was three hours researching this all last night. Josephine Baker has always been someone in high regards in my culture. I've known her history since a small child. It would be just great to go to her castle. I remember my great-great grandmother, great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother telling me stories of Josephine and other historic figures during that time and after. My parents still remember a lot of the Josephine Baker history and they're early 80s to almost 90.

I think it would probably be best to take the train and then try to rent a car. I can't imagine 6 hours of driving. I drive enough here at home. That's almost like driving from L.A.-S.F. ,which I don't do. I fly.

I'd just have to figure out where to get a rental car once getting off the train and then finding some place to stay. I now might have to wait to do this in spring 2010, when I'm back in Paris. It's now seeming too much to plan when I'm there next month.

If I wait, then maybe I could get my Parisian friend, whom I'm staying with next month, to go with me. He'll be on vacation in S.W. France a few weeks from now and will probably not want to go on another trip when he gets home to Paris the day after I arrive to his place. Smiles.

Thanks a million for the help and info. I now think that it can be done even with all that I read last night about how difficult it is to get there. Smiles. I'd love to bring back photos to my parents. Happy Travels!

Tampa, Florida
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4. Re: Josephine Baker's Castle in Castelnaud-la-Chapelle-France

Difficult to get to via public transportation, yes -- driving there is no issue at all, as the roads are very well-maintained, and the chateau is fairly well signposted.

I knew about her face as a public entertainer, and had heard about her Rainbow Tribe, but the chateau really brings her to life -- what an amazing person.

A few years ago they discovered a few steamer trunks in the basement and opened them to find out what was inside -- they didn't know what to expect, as they could just as easily have belonged to another owner of the chateau.

They were shocked and delighted to find the trunks stuffed full of Josephine's costumes from the height of her career -- including the famed banana skirt. They were waterstained from a couple of floods, but were in generally decent condition. The museum has since restored them and put them on display...wow.

5. Re: Josephine Baker's Castle in Castelnaud-la-Chapelle-France

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