Chateauxs of the Loire Valley!

Mom and Dad and I went on a Dinner Cruise up the Seine our last night in Paris. We stumbled home after midnight and got up the next morning to board our oh-so-fabulous bus (that was designed for extrememly flexible people who are about 5 feet tall) and headed south for the Loire Valley. At the first rest stop, a bee flew on the bus and landed on my leg as I headed out the door. It proceeded to sting me. And the rain had started. So far, I was not all that impressed with the country side. :)  

Then we stopped at Chambord. First, we had a lecture on the word "Chateaux" - it roughly translates as something somewhere in between "castle" and "palace." Chambord is huge. I mean gigantic.

This is a picture of Mom and Dad on the grounds. You really can't imagine how big the place is. And the ground were beautiful. This is when I started to get the idea of coming back and taking a horse back riding tour of the area. They have quite a large stable here and do horse "shows" demonstrating the riding styles of Europe through the ages.

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The road leading to the Chateau was lined with these trees - and the sun was just starting to come out.

After stretching our legs a little, we hopped back on the bus and headed to one of the most famous castles, excuse me, Chateauxs of France. The reason this one is so amazing is that it literally spans the Cher River.

The Chateaux Chenonceaux

The gardens are quite stunning too. Its amazing what a couple of centuries of structured landscaping and gardening will do for a place! We had time to wander through out the grounds and tour the chateau itself, learning about all the powerful noble women who left their own imprint on the place. There's even a place to eat here, so we had lunch during our stay.


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The roses were at their peak through out the garden. It was an absolutely gorgeous day.

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Here's where Chenonceaux spans the Cher River. Its really interesting, and I imagine it kept the castle cool in the hottest part of the summer, though I wouldn't want to be there in the winter. I guess it made plumbing easier, though!

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Again, the grounds were impecable.
Even the buildings on the grounds were picture worthy!
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Our last stop before overnighting in Tours was to stretch our legs in the river town of Amboise, where Leonardo da Vinci lived. It was just a momentary stop. But worth it.


Then it was on to our hotel in Tours. Pretty uneventful, but on the way, you could see all the places that were built out of the caves along the river valley. Apparently, its a great place to store wine. One thing I do remember about Tours is the ice cream we had for dinner - it tasted like the smells from bath and body work's soaps and stuff. It was really really good.

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Next stop - The French Alps and Annecy!!!!

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