Friday, 28 August 2015

Le Tour de France part 3 Les chateaux de Loire

The Tuesday, 11 August turned out to be a very hot and sticky day. After our breakfast at the BRIT hotel in Blois, we set off to explore the Loire Valley. Many famous French noblemen built beautiful châteaux and during the day we visited Chambord, Chenonceau & Villandry.
We first called in to see the Château Chambord from the extensive grounds, and took some photos, including a group photo. The château was built for François 1st & features a double helix staircase. We also stopped for a coffee in the grounds of this chateau. Unfortunately the cafe area was plagued with wasps which spoiled our relaxation time.
Le château Chambord from the rear

Le château Chambord from the front

After exploring the gardens we continued our journey to Chenonceau, a small town with a railway station and a château. A part of the château projects over the river. Unfortunately we could not access the château grounds as the area was fenced off,  and due to time constraints we could only visit the small town of Chenonceau. I was with one of the group and we found a small restaurant/cafe and had a cool drink. 
An SNCF electric train approaching Chenonceau

Cheanonceau (town)

We spent the afternoon exploring the château of Villandry, where we went inside the château and the extensive gardens. We arrived and after the bus was parked we had some hours to explore. Inside the château we explored the room which contained period furniture and explained the history of the château and the people who lived therein.
Le Château Villandry

Our overnight stay was in Saumur but we stopped in Chinon sur Loire for our evening meal and I a plat de jour dinner at the cafe des Belles Artes.

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