France
Blois

Discover travel destinations of travelers writing a travel journal on FindPenguins.

28 travelers at this place

  • Day28

    Goodbye Leonardo

    September 17, 2019 in France ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    Five hundred years ago, in 1519, one of the greatest geniuses the world has ever known breathed his final breath. In the same year, a short distance away, work began on a hunting lodge for the reigning king - Francois the FIrst. That lodge is now known as the Chateau de Chambord, the largest of all the chateaux in the Loire Valley. Although it is the largest, it is certainly not the most beautiful.

    When I first laid eyes on this building in 2013, I thought that it looked like the work of a manic imagination. I have now seen it twice since and my opinion has not changed. There is no argument that it is a collosal work of engineering, but the scale and opulence do little to make up for the sheer lack of any sort of good taste.

    It took many years and an incredible amount of money and resources to construct, but it is worth noting that Francois only spent a total of 7 weeks there. After his death it was left abandoned for 80 years. It proved to be unpopular and highly impractical for either a hunting lodge or a place of residence and it is easy to see why.

    The enormous rooms were impossible to heat and all the furnishings and decorations were taken away whenever the king was not in residence. Its existence is just another example of the way that French royalty lived in a profligate fantasy world, completely removed from their poor subjects. The sheer ego and arrogance of Francois is reflected in the way that his iniitial F is prominently displayed everywhere in the design.

    And what exactly was the role of Leonardo da Vinci ? The scholars seem divided on how much input the aging Leonardo had in the design of Chambord, but the consensus seems to be that the distinctive double helix staircase was his idea. It is certainly the most startling feature of the building and one that would be worthy of the creative genius of the great man himself. The architects who designed the rest of the monstrosity have very little to be commended for.

    Our ride today took us from Beaugency to Blois and the Chateau de Chambord was the most significant highlight of the day. Earlier in the morning we had ridden past our third nuclear power station of the trip so far. This one had the same huge cooling towers that we have become familiar with, although it was a little disconcerting that it also seemed to be leaking steam from the base of one of the towers as well.

    Perhaps it was because of the excellent navigational skills of Gordon, or maybe it was because we are all getting stronger each day. Whatever the reason, we managed to complete the day's ride without even raising a sweat. We were also pleased to be staying in the modern Mercure Hotel, right on the banks of the Loire. When we stayed here in 2015, our hotel had been unkindly situated right at the highest part of the city. We were very thankful to be spared that final climb.

    Blois (pronounced like Loire, but with a B at the start) is a beautiful city with a lovely old bridge spanning the river. The most striking feature of the inner city area is the huge staircase that has now been decorated with a reproduction of the famous Mona Lisa.
    Read more

  • Day6

    Blois

    August 24, 2019 in France ⋅ ☁️ 32 °C

    Nachdem wir in Amboise das Schloß und den Garten besucht haben, entschließen wir uns das Château de Amboise nicht auch noch zu besichtigen.

    Statt dessen fahren wir lieber nach Blois um dort durch die Stadt zu wandern. Eigentlich wollen wir uns ziellos durch die Stadt treiben lassen uns einfach interessante Dinge näher betrachten. So marschieren wir also einfach los. Nach kurzem landen wir in der Rue Denis Papin mit dem Standbild von Papin inmitten einer Treppenanlage. Anlässlich des 500. Geburtstag Leonardo da Vincis wurde die Treppe an den Kanten mit der Mona Lisa bemalt. Von unten bietet sich ein gigantisches Bild, das von oben völlig verborgen bleibt, da nur die von oben unsichtbaren Kanten bemalt wurden.

    Vom Treppenabsatz aus laufen wir in Richtung einer großen Kirche, die wir bereits beim Abstellen des Autos von unten aus gesehen haben. Es ist die Kathedrale St Louis, der Bischofssitz von Blois. Gerade als wir die Kirche betreten wollen, läutet es zusammen für die Abendmesse. Wir sehen uns vorher nur kurz um und bleiben dann noch einen Moment in der Messe sitzen. Dabei erfahren wir, dass heute am 25.8. Ludwig seinen Namenstag hat und da der ja auch Patron der Kathedrale ist, der Bischof selbst mit einem Gefolge von 6 Priestern den Gottesdienst hält. Nach den ersten einführenden Worten verlassen wir die Kirche, bevor der Gottesdienst richtig beginnt.

    Hinter der Kirche erstreckt sich der Jardin l'évêque. Ein größtenteils schön angelegter Garten mit vielen Rosen, von dem aus man einen guten Blick über Blois hat. Nach dem Besuch des Gartens haben wir dann einen ganz anderen Weg der Erkundung von Blois eingeschlagen.
    Read more

  • Day6

    Blois -Teil 2

    August 24, 2019 in France ⋅ ⛅ 28 °C

    Wir bemerkten immer wieder die Markierungen 'unseres' Weges durch ein bronzenes Stachelschwein am Boden des Fussweges in Bloir und wir beschließen diesem nun erstmal zu folgen, egal, wohin es uns führen mag.

    Wir bekommen dadurch einen Teil der Altstadt mit einer kleinen ehemaligen Befestigung der Stadt zu sehen und werden dann Richtung Château de Blois geführt. Wir laufen am Schloss vorbei in Richtung eines erhöhten Aussichtspunktes und haben eine tolle Sicht auf die Rückseite des Schlosses und eine kleinen Parkanlage.

    Der Hunger beendet den Rundgang langsam und wir suchen uns ein Restaurant zum Abendessen. Wir nehmen italienisch und landen im 'le Vespa', einem kleinen italienischen Restaurant. Wir essen je eine halbe Pizza und dazu einen abgestimmten Salat. Lecker wars und aufgrund des anstrengenden Tages fahren wir anschliessend direkt die restlichen 15 Kilometer zurück ins B'n'B und setzen uns noch ein bisschen auf die Terrasse.
    Read more

  • Day28

    Chateau Central!

    October 2, 2017 in France ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    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

  • Day28

    Amboise to Blois. 44 km.

    October 2, 2017 in France ⋅ ☁️ 18 °C

    If the worse we get from the rain is seeing more chateaus than planned... that works for us 👌. No rain today until just checking into our place in Blois...perfect timing (if you have to have rain at all 🙄). And the wind (15 - 20 km/hr) at our backs all day 🌬️...gotta love it!

    The hills out of town first thing gets the blood pumping. Might as well work off that croissant right off the bat. Then a nice ride up on the terrace. Fun checking out the burbs.

    Great variety and good paths all day today...huge corn fields, huge vineyards, farming towns, paths along the river, some thru the forest.

    Lunch beside the Loire...below Chaumont-Sur-Loire. Church bells ringing, chateau up behind (UNESCO site but we're chateau-ed out), sun comes out 😊.

    We checked that we had the plastic bottle for the rest of the wine. Yup...good. But a bit later....oops...no need of it. It was a perfect lunch spot 🙄. Nothing a short nap can't take care of 😁.

    Blois is another neat town...chateau right in the middle of things, pedestrian streets , squares.

    While things are going so well for us, at the same time, our hearts go out to those affected by the terrible attacks in Edmonton, Vegas, Marseilles.
    Read more

You might also know this place by the following names:

Blois, بلوا, Горад Блуа, Блоа, Bleaz, Μπλουά, بلوآ, Բլոիս, XBQ, ブロワ, 블루아, Blesae, Blua, Bles, 41000, Блуа, บลัว, 布卢瓦

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOSFindPenguins for Android

Sign up now