Saturday, January 01, 2011

Castle Country

Our trip to France was supposed to be a vacation for Matt too, and he wanted to get out of Paris for a while, so we boarded a train for the town of Tours in the Loire Valley, a place Matt had been on one of his school excursions. The Loire Valley is home to quaint, little, old towns with winding cobbled streets and stone buildings with slate roofs. It is also the home of many, many castles. Having lived in in such a young country all my life it was so interesting to be in place with such a depth of history.

We spent three days in Tours, and rented a car so we could tour the countryside and visit a few of the many chateaus. We took the "lets get in the car and go see what we can find" approach and were not disappointed anywhere along the way. We spent time in Tours, of course, as well as Amboise and Blois. We toured the castles at Amboise, where Leonardo de Vinci was interred, as well Chambord, the massive estate, now national monument, that was built as a hunting retreat for nobility. I think our favorite castle was Chateaux Langeais, as it had a really neat drawbridge. Each of these places is worth a blog of it's own, which I may do at a later date.

I feel so fortunate to have been able to spend 3 days out touring the French countryside with my own personal tour guide and interpreter. Matt has been taking a French history course in college, so he was able to provide a history lesson as well. Wandering the streets and quaint alley ways was a treat, interesting architecture was every where you turned. I could spent countless hours in these towns examining the cobblestones and sculptures, and even the door handles and knockers! I also have to say, visiting all these castles was a great way to end my princess month!
Chateaux Langeais

Chateaux Langeais

The view of Amboise from the castle.

Yet another castle, in a town who's name I forgot.

Blois alleyways

Old meet new - "Disco Music" in Blois

Chateaux Chambord

Chateaux Chambord

Tradition Loire river boats

Joan of Arc statue overlooking the Loire from the town of Blois

The princess visits Chateaux Amboise

A doorknocker in Blois


Ellen said...

A trip of a lifetime and you have documented it so well.

Pretty Things said...

FanTASTIC shots. I lived in Italy for three months and traveled extensively but never made it your way. I loved the castles in Austria and Luxembourg. le sigh.