Finding Josephine

This item appears on page 54 of the April 2011 issue.

Having been many times to Paris, my wife and I have done all the must-see attractions. During a week’s visit, Sept. 21-29, 2010, we were determined to go to Château de Malmaison, the Empress Josephine’s country house, just outside of the city. We had read about it in ITN (Oct. ’08, pg. 52 & March ’10, pg. 16).

We’d had conflicting advice on how to get there. Here’s how we did it.

First, do NOT take the train to Rueil. From Rueil, you still need to take a taxi or walk a long way to get to Malmaison. Instead, simply take the No. 1 Métro to La Defense. When you exit the Métro, you will be in a very large, mall-like lobby. Though there are shops along both sides of this hall, this is not the popular La Defense shopping mall.

At the far end of this space is a bus ticket booth. Buy a round-trip ticket to Malmaison on bus No. 258. From the ticket booth, follow the corridor and you will come to doors with bus numbers over each. Find number 258 and wait for the next bus to arrive.

It is a rather pleasant, 25-minute ride to Malmaison. Once you get to Rueil, it is another few stops to the château. I told the bus driver that, once we were in Rueil, we wanted to stop at the château and he helped us get off at the right place.

Exit the bus, cross the street, turn left and at the first street take a right onto rue du Château. Proceed down the tree-lined road until you get to the gates of Malmaison on the right.

The château was closed for lunch when we arrived, so we walked to town for a bite.

When you leave the château, retrace your steps to the main road and catch the bus at a stop across the street from where you exited the bus earlier.

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