Friday, 25 May 2012

Stairs and Gazes


I’m so glad for all those Pilates classes now – we have been up and down so many types of stairs in the last two days: big and tiny steps, sloping (feel like they are about to cave in) staircases, spiral ones, grand ones, outdoor and indoor, up to the turret/lookout, down to the kitchen/basement!
We have spent the last two days going around just a few of the Chateaux of the Loire: Chenonceau, Amboise, Clos Lucé (Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘house’), d’Azay-le-Rideau, Langeais and Villandry.
After a good tip from Gilles at our hotel, we arrived at Chenonceau just before opening with advance purchase tickets and were 4th and 5th in the gate – beating all the busloads. As this chateau is on the top of pretty much every ‘must see chateau’ list we felt very lucky to be seeing each room almost by ourselves.
Amboise chateau royal is a few minutes walk from where we are staying, and can be seen from everywhere we go around the town – including our toilet!
Amboise chateau royal
Clos Lucé is just a few hundred metres from the Amboise chateau and has models of many of Leonardo’s inventions, some in a hall and others around a beautiful shady park. Paul felt this was a great R&D opportunity and in famous nerd fashion took many many photos.
D’Azay-le-Rideau is the Renaissance chateau famous for its reflection pool. Langeais is a great example of a late mediaeval castle brought alive with outstanding furnishings, tapestries and even a table set up and wedding party representation.
Clos Luce
Villandry was the chateau on the top of our list to visit because of the pictures we had seen of its gardens. They didn’t disappoint and despite the heat, we spent hours walking around them finding shady places to enjoy them, and drink lots of water.
View from our bathroom
Our hotel is great, a really large, quiet room and very helpful staff.
View of our hotel from Amboise chateau turret

Villandry across the gardens

Small part of the Villandry veggie gardens

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