Thursday, March 01, 2012

The Must Do Chateaux of the Loire

Wednesday's in France has become Thursdays - Why? Well that thing that pays the bills intruded into my time this week. In these times of economic uncertainty, I'm happy to say we are very busy but let's not cloud travel with work - I promise to be back on time with Wednesdays in France next week.

Sue's spiritual home - Cheverny

Both Chambord and Cheverny were missed on our trip last year and so Sue decided they needed to be on our “must do” list. This was our last day in the Loire before moving off to Burgundy and so we made a day of it.

Chambord defies comprehension. It hurts the head to absorb its magnificence. Built by King Francois 1, the grounds including the hunting forest covering an area the size of Paris. A feature of the Chateau is the double helix staircase, supposedly designed by Leonardo da Vinci. People going up the staircase will not meet people descending. The Salamander appears all over the chateau as this was the chosen emblem of the King.

A very long entrance to the Chateau - some people don't drive this far for holiday!

And its a bloody long walk from the car park

The famous staircase where you don't meet people coming the other way.

And a photo looking across from the other side.

A quiet moment to contemplate the enormity of the Chateau.

Before nicking off to Cheverny, we decided lunch was in order and we found a restaurant in a neighbouring village rather than eating with all those other tourists. Smart move - lunch was superb!!!!
Poached eggs in a red wine sauce for an entree, followed by grilled Salmon, finishing off with cheeses and coffee. The meal was enjoyed with a local Cheverny rouge. Yes, I wonder what the common people are doing now…..No I don’t really!!!!

Off to Cheverny - A mere gatehouse compared to Chambord but special in that the descendants of the original owners (the Herault Family) still own the property and only vacated the chateau in 1985. It is now a magnificent museum showing how the ultra-wealthy lived their life.

Most people buying souvenirs were quite happy with key-rings, fridge magnets and assorted trinkets. Not Sue - a $350 leather and suede hand bag was more to her liking.
It was time to head of home to pack and clean the villa and say goodbye to the Loire

We took time to browse a Brocante in a neighbouring village after leaving Chambord for lunch.

With a covered market opposite our restaurant.

The Brocante had some interesting items - the bike was - the plastic chair wasn't!

Cheverny was captivating and after Chambord, restful.

Love these coat of arms.

Intricate carvings and sculptures all over.

It isn't hard to find interesting scenes to photograph at Cheverny.

Since visiting Cheverny I became aware of Tin Tin.

A rose covered wall at Cheverny is a wonderful greeting or farewell.
Don't you think?
Our next journey would take us to the far east of the Loire before entering Burgundy and a full week in the heart of Dijon BUT not before a few overnight stops in some very interesting villages along the way. Hope you can join us next week.


  1. Two great châteaux! And always worth a second visit. :)

  2. You have so much wonderful material that you are sharing, will you finished before this years trip commences. :)

  3. The Loire is really not that far from us, we must plan a visit there. Problem is there is so much to see and so many bloggers to visit. How do you fit it all in?? Well done Sue like the idea of the handbag :) Diane

  4. I love that rose-covered wall. It's stunning.

  5. Walt - loved watching the hounds at Cheverny being fed. A highlight.

    LLM - There's much more to come. This was our 2009 trip. there's still the 2010 trip and then there's this year. They might run into each other, hmmmmm that could be a problem.

    Diane - I think that might have been her second hand bag, then there was a watch and a purse. She just likes to say when asked, "Oh that old thing, I bought that last time I was in Paris." About fitting it all in, we have the NIKE theory - Just do it!!!

    Kay - That wall was VERY stunning.

    And finally - Its no nice to wake up in the morning to read all your comments before rushing off to work - thank you.

  6. Contemplation in a chateau ...I like that. Another wonderful post to wet my appetite for All things French.

  7. Dianne - Looking forward to all things French returning. Glad we can tantalise you to return.
    Our blog "Travelling through France" (inspired by All Things French) is proving to be a real battle of dedication and I only have 300 odd days to go of daily photos. So there's another French fix for you to look at. See our side bar for the link.
    Is it this year you hope to return?


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