Chateau Central!October 2, 2017 in France
We had every intention of riding to one of the best chateaus in La Loire (according to Rick Steves), then Mother Nature got in the way. We got lucky to get 2 seats in a tour van going to three chateaus. Two more than we were planning to visit, but a better option than being out in miserable weather.
The tour got us discount entry fees and head of the line. LOTS of people want to see chateaus 🎎🎎🎎.
Each one different but all had incredible stone work, thickness of the walls, tapestries (needed to keep these places warm somehow), classic furniture, artwork and portraits, copper pot collections in the kitchens, huge firelogs, four poster beds...in every one.
Chambord is the great grand-daddy of them all. Largest wall enclosed park in Europe (13450 ac) still with wild boar and deer. Awesome architecture laid out in shape of a Greek cross and a double-helix staircase in the middle. Six times the size of the average Loire chateau.
Chenonceau...most visited chateau. Impeccable gardens, amazing treed entry, fancy furniture. Housed the mistress of Henry II until he died and his wife kicked her out. Oh the drama 😮. The wife and the mistress each have their own garden. It was used as a military hospital in WWI.
Cheverny...a more manageable scale and the owners still live on the top floor. Been in the same family for 600 years. Where the Mona Lisa and other Louvre art was hidden from the Nazis during WWII. The owner still hunts on the huge property and keeps 90+ hounds to do this. Lego creations throughout. Not sure where they came from but quite cool.
Topped the day off with a fancy dinner at a private chateau around the corner...Chateau de Pray. Every dish exquisite. Ended up being an epic meal (3-1/2 hrs...no hurrying you out of this place!). Healthy price tag ...but it evens out by the minute 😄.Read more