This weekend’s visit to Melun was entirely my fault.
We had been discussing going to Vaux-le-Vicomte for a while, thus leading to the inevitable scope creep; see Vaux-le-Vicomte became spend the day at Vaux-le-Vicomte, which morphed into see one of the soirées aux chandelles at Vaux-le-Vicomte , which became stay near Vaux-le-Vicomte so we wouldn’t have to go all the way back to Paris, which briefly turned into stay at one of the many smaller private châteaux near Vaux-le-Vicomte, which actually reduced in scope to go to Melun the night before, wander around Melun for part of the day, take the navette from the station to the château, wander the gardens, see la soirée aux chandelles, drink wine, eat macarrons, and then take the navette back to Melun and walk back to the hotel.
Required background information: the château, some 50km outside of Paris, is not easily reachable sans automobile. Thus our my plan was great, except for the part where I failed to notice that the navette did not run between the château and Melun, but rather between the château and Verneuil l’Étang, some 20km away, and entirely unconnected by trains (unless one wants to hop back up to Paris and come back down).
I discovered my error just as we were about to leave the house on Friday evening; we made the decision to wing it and hope to hell that we could find an Uber or a taxi (oh optimism), and it was under this cloud that we proceeded down to Melun.
Once there, we found that we were, at that point, the only people in our hotel (which explained the fermeture exceptionelle of the hotel restaurant, which itself was the direct cause of our having to eat what I can only describe as the worst meal that I have had in France (maybe continental Europe; British food remains the worst food of this entire phase of our lives as it’s as shitty and low-quality as American food, but without any flavor whatsoever) at a place called Buffalo Grill.
Buffalo Grill is an unabashedly American place (there’s that thin 80’s style carpet on the walls with the chains logo, everything on the menu is American this or American-style that, the preparation of green beans (as observed while awaiting our table) consisted of microwaving a plastic sachet and then dumping the contents on a plate) and it reminded me of a lower-end (shudder) Applebee’s: cheap, low quality, and not very good (though as the Purrito pointed out, at least Applebee’s makes a half-assed attempt at making their food look presentable). No longer hungry (if not sated in any appreciable way), we walked back to our empty hotel in the rain.
The gallery below contains every picture I took in Melun; while the churches and ruins of an abbey that I had identified proved to be in the town (if not accessible), the musée de la gendarmerie was inaccessible via foot.
On the positive side, their waterfront is very aesthetically pleasing.