21 April 2014

Chenonceau


Wednesday afternoon Loire Valley adventures are now a Thing, and last week was Château de Chenonceau, one of the most recognizable sites in France (if the cover of my Lonely Planet France is any indication). 


Piled into Loës's tiny car with Maddy, Alex, and Elina, drove through endless yellow wildflowers, emerged in a fairyland.



The grounds are almost as stunning as the château itself. Topiaries, fountains, mazes, outbuildings, stone paths, every variety of tulips, all thoughtfully, colorfully, and extravagantly arranged around the castle.





We explored a bit inside the 500-plus-year-old building and learned a bit about its history.

The chapel.






In the kitchen.

Can't resist the silly mirror selfies.


so many ambiguous culinary tools... medieval pizza cutters, perhaps?

Inside the arches.

The coolest room was definitely the gallery - the long corridor over the river. Originally, it was intended to connect to a new wing of the château, making it symmetrical across the water, but that plan never came to fruition so the gallery just dead-ends.











A super-creepy, death-themed bedroom created by a perpetually grieving widow of one of the château's royal proprietors.


Absurd Easter decorations.




 

As cool as the interior was, I couldn't wait to get outside and see the famous view, the massive stone castle straddling the River Cher.













We had to at least try out the hedge maze before our departure.


Elina's lost in plain sight.



Last week in Tours - one more Loire Valley excursion left! It's been a lot of fun getting to know this charming little pocket of France.

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