National Geographic : 1969 Oct
JOURNEY INTO THE HE GREAT CURVES of the Seine beckoned me on through the hedgerowed fields of Nor mandy, veiled with apple blos soms, towered with stone churches, pastured with graz ing cows and powerful Percheron horses. The soft fragrance of May greeted me as I drove inland from the French coast on my quest for the springtime of our civilization. Then suddenly, as I rounded a bend, I spied Chateau Gaillard, Richard the Lionheart's 544 castle! It was a wonder in its day. It still is. "If its walls were made of solid iron," sneered France's King Philip, "yet would I take them." "By the throat of God!" roared England's King Richard. "If its walls were made of butter, yet would I hold them." I climbed those ramparts, stood where Richard had stood, and recalled his feats in France, and against the chivalrous Saladin in Palestine. In my youth my pulse had quick ened to tales of Robin Hood, Ivanhoe, Ro land, King Arthur's knights, Richard the Lion heart. The very names rang with chivalry.