Gunderson Experiences

Doing all the things

Barbizon, France

Jun 4, 2023

June 1, 2023

Barbizon, France deserves its own blog. I struggle to express how much I truly loved this little community. The streets were enriched with cobblestone drives, climbing vines and wooden shutters. Although you feel you have stepped back in time, you also feel spoiled. Just a few doors down from our maison, we had access to a delicious boulangerie, boucherie, and fromagerie.

Barbizon is also well recognized for its contributions to art in the 19th century. Many artists still reside in the community. Soren explored the "cat art shop". He bought a cat shirt and a porcelain cat. The French propriétaire was a bit appalled we were letting a child buy a porcelain cat, but c est la vie (that's life).

When you remember Barbizon, what comes to mind?

What colors remind you of your time in Barbizon?

The kids brought jump ropes and thank goodness! It was a great way to get them to walk around without complaining. Not sure the locals liked it but no one said anything!

The entrance to our AirBnB

The sign for the magasin de lunettes, eyeglass shop.

A really cool statue made of garbage. One of his toes was an old doll head.

Saraya is reprimanding the communist dictators

Roses everywhere. Soren is leaning forward because he learned his lesson after being grabbed a few too many times!

Beating the heat at Bois le roi. A local favorite for hanging in the Sienne and playing in the fountains.

Bois le roi

Bois le roi. I can rarely get them to lie down on a towel. Make them climb 4 days straight and look what happens!

Which way would you choose?


On day 6, we climbed in the morning, and hit up Wam Park for afternoon fun on the Sienne. What an experience! Wam park has a huge water park that resembles the ninja courses. It was soooo slippery! I have posted some videos.

I am not sure I have laughed that hard in ages. To watch everyone biffing it constantly was hilarious! At one point, I was solo on the top of the tower. Jansen yelled "Jump!". So I did.... Except I leapt off the slipper round ledge only to find my foot slip instantly. Plummeting 15 feet into the Sienned in a full BELLY FLOP! Seriously. Water shot through my nose, my legs burned instantly and on-lookers did not know rather to laugh or help me. Luckily I was wearing a life jacket so it took most of the blow and I crawled out of the water unscathed, just some really hurt pride.

The silver lining in this story is that the water shot through my nose and into my sinuses. I had been developing a sinus infection, likely from the mold in our airbnb. After this elegant way of nasal rinsing, Voila! my sinuses were clear and have remained so! Next time I think of prescribing antibiotics for someone, I may just say - Go belly flop in the Snake river - that'll do!

Side Story - One day, after a morning of climbing, I decided to explore Barbizon solo. I put on my running shoes and ventured down the streets. Strolling past gorgeous homes, losing myself in delicate smells and listening to good music - I came across a long dirt road. It appeared to stray into the wheat fields, and I could not help myself but to turn down the path. I was feeling bliss. Here I was in France, running along a gravel road in the open wheat fields, blue skies... until I started to smell something. Hmmmm. It was not good. It was getting more pungent. Then I saw it. The waste water treatment plant.

Ha! France got me again. Reality struck. Some guy in a truck looked at me funny - wondering.. why is that girl running down the road to a waste water treatment plant?

The waste water plant hidden in the patch of trees. France keeping everything beautifully hidden.