Les Vacances: La Loire

And the adventures continue~! After returning from Istanbul, I had a day in Paris before roadtripping down to the Loire Valley with Sarah and her mom, Catherine. On the agenda: visiting four chateaus in the Loire region.

We left Friday afternoon and drove down south in a misty haze. The Loire is actually only 2 hours from Paris. We settled into a CHATEAU called Château Laloin for the night.

After a sumtuous breakfast of tartines, croissants, OJ, coffee, yogurts, I was STUFFED and more than ready to walk off all those cals by exploring some ancient French castles.

First up- Chambord. Most notable part was the famous double spiral staircase that links the three floors. It looks kind of like a strand of DNA.

Cool staircase at Chambord

Next, we visited Cheverny, a magnificent chateau that served as inspiration for Hergé, the author of Tintin. Apparently the most famous castle in his comic books (Marlingspike Hall)  is based on Cheverny. Beautiful interior and exterior of the castle, colorful gardens, and a dog kennel too! There were tons of beagles cooped up in this outdoor kennel! Dogs were necessary for hunting back in the day, and the current owners still keep dogs around. Woof!

Sarah and I at Cheverny

WOOF!

Gardens of Cheverny

We got lost finding our chateau for Saturday night, but luckily the locals of the Loire were extremely nice and helpful. Our chateau was AMAZING. In the morning, we hung out with Rudy, the resident pig who is 150 kilos. He’s also blind.. d’aw.

150 kilo pig named Rudy

On Sunday we visted Chenonceau and Amoise. Chenonceau is on the River Cher. I felt like I was a princess with the lush gardens sprawling across the land. French gardens are very geometric and well groomed.

Chenonceau

Catherine and the gardens at Chenonceau

Lunch time: cider served in bowls and galettes, buckwheat crepes

Next, we visted Amoise, a medieval fortress and royal residence of King Charles the 8th up to François the 1st. The kings often invited European artists to stay at the castle, and Léonardo de Vinci (french spelling… where’s the DA) spent several years here! He is buried on site, so I got to see his grave in the castle chapel. Wooo weird to think of de Vinci’s ghost flying around in the wind.

I think Amboise was my favoirte castle, since it was located on a large hill and provided the best views of the Loire Valley.

Amboise

Amboise, garden, and view of Loire on the right.

As you can see in the picture, there are huge clouds on one half of the sky, and clear skies on the other side. Pretty much sums up the weekend weather. One second it was raining and gross, the next it was sunny. I was switching between umbrella and sunglasses constantly! Too weird.

On our drive back to Paris, we were treated to a beautiful rainbow. A fairytale ending to my princess-y weekend! Merci beaucoup à Sarah et Catherine pour un weekend incroyable!

-A

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