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Published: October 2nd 2013
Tours, Chateau de Chenonceau and Chambord in Loire Valley France on 18 September 2013
We drove further along the Loire Valley and arrived in Tours for coffee. We found yet another lovely town with a river flowing through it, a tram system, open avenues and an old town section.
We drove down some of the little streets – always a slow, cautious task in the camper –and found a park. We went for a walk and came across a lot of interesting little shops and then came onto the main square where we found a coffee shop. All over its walls it had memorabilia, posters on walls, and umbrellas hanging from its ceiling. It also had great coffee.
We then drove further through the city seeing its and walls, before heading out of town to see the Chateau de Chenonceau which was one of King Louis XIV Palaces. It was presented beautifully and there was a very good written guide on the section of the Palace. It gave an excellent story on the life of the French regals and gentry. The gardens were expansive and the moat around the palace added an interesting feature to the buildings, although
it wasn’t completely full of water. It took us several hours to go through.
I hope you enjoy the photos.
We then hit the roads again, which were all secondary roads but very good. The countryside was beautifully green with some broad-acre farming, and some vineyards.
After and couple of hours, we arrived at the Chateau Chambord, another national heritage UNESCO site.
King Francis 1 was 21 yo in 1519 when he initiated the building of the Chambord. He intended it to be a hunting lodge but its architecture makes it an extravagant chateau since it is 156 metres long and 56 metres tall with 77 staircases, 282 fireplaces and 426 rooms!!!
Of the 32 years Francis only spent 72 days in the Chateau and he never saw the project completed before his death in 1547. It was a confusing place to visit as it had so many towers and there was a central stair case that was designed by Leonardo de Vinci who designed it so that those who were walking up the stairs would never see those who were walking down. The literature we were given didn’t have a clear plan and information
on the place. It was however yet another excellent example of the beautiful architectural and craftsmanship of the era.
We then drove due west to Blois which had a river running through it, several Roman bridges, churches and beautiful buildings.
As it was later in the afternoon by this time, we looked for a camp site. We chose one out of the ADAC book (which is written in German which we got when we were in Germany!! but it has given us another selection tool for accommodation), which was on the Paris side of Blois but found it was closed as their summer holiday season had come to an end and so we were finding some of the parks closed.
We eventually found Camping Chateau de Marais which had a very grand, 2 story building in it which the owners lived in. We could see from their notice board that they had a pretty extensive holiday entertainment program for children and adults. The park was massive.
The next morning (still cool but dry) on 19/9, we packed up and headed for Paris – we were very excited as the next day we were seeing Kerrie &
Gemma. We wanted to send an email before we let but we couldn’t so I asked at reception if I could use their computer – which I did. After that we left but 20 kms down the road I looked for my bag which wasn’t in our camping car. I had left it at the reception desk when I was sending the email – damn. Back we went again!!!!
Unfortunately, this put us back in time so we decided not to go to Charters before going to Versailles. Charters had an interesting Old Town that we wanted to see but oh well, we can’t see everything!!
Off we headed to Versailles. We wanted to get there early in the afternoon to organize the motor home for when Kerrie & Gemma were going to travel with us.
But first we were staying in an apartment in Paris with them for 7 days.
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