Sunday, August 24, 2014


Yesterday I visited another gorgeous place pictured in almost all of my French textbooks, Le Chateau de Chenonceau.
To get there, I had a connecting train in Tours with some time to spare, so I wandered around and explored.
 The theatre
 A fountain from the United States of America dedicated to the achievements of the French army during WWI.

The cathedral in the town center. Every good French town must have a cathedral and a castle :)

 Tours castle

 The town hall building had elaborate, if slightly troubling decorations.

Then it was off to the tiny tiny tiny town of Chenonceau for the castle!
The women of the time actually had a huge impact on the history of the castle. In 1547 King Henri II donated the castle to his mistress Diane de Poitiers who built gardens and the famous arched bridge over the River Cher. Once Henri II died, his widow Catherine de' Medici kicked Diane out and made her own, more magnificent gardens. Louise of Lorraine, the wife of Henri III, was the last of the royal inhabitants at Chenonceau. It was later used as a salon for the elites during the 18th century Age of Enlightenment, and a hospital for wounded soldiers during WWI.

The chapel inside.

 Each bedroom has an elaborate fireplace.

 This hall was where the hospital was housed during WWI

Another fireplace

 The Marquis Tower

The hospital rooms, as they were used during WWI

Yes, even little boats along the river were included in this idyllic scenery.

Tree lined entrance to the castle.
 The castle grounds also includes a farm with donkeys and a flower garden, and an exhibition on cars and farming equipment throughout the centuries.

 And this shot, outside the grounds, reminded me that I was in the heart of the Loire Valley wine country. Just beautiful!
As my last adventure abroad this wraps up my posting. Tomorrow I travel by train back to London where I will stay in a hotel for one night before flying home on Tuesday.

What an experience these past few months have been! Once I have settled back in at home I will write a little wrap-up farewell of my adventures, but for now it's au revoir!

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