Wow, what a trip! The villages, the scenery, the food and, of course!, the castles, the fabulous châteaux of the Loire Valley.
Here’s the list of all the castles we visited from May 28 to June 4 (June 3, really, since we left for Annecy on the 4th). So, 7 full days in the valley.
During our two-day stay in Blois we visited the following castles: Château de Blois, Château de Chambord, Château de Cheverny, Château de Chaumont.
We spent most of our stay in Tours, and from there we visited these: Château de Chenonceau (perhaps the most famous, deservedly so), Château de Loches (it’s more than a castle, more like a fortified village atop a hill), Château de Villandry, Château d’Azay-le-Rideau, Château d’Amboise, Château du Clos Lucé (Leonardo da Vinci’s last home), Château de Chinon (more of a fortress than a castle), Château de Langeais. And we had an outside look of the Château de Saumur.
The towns we visited were Bourges (its cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage site…but I remember Bourges best for its half-timbered houses, see photo 2, and its macarons, which were amazingly tasty, and, hey, I don’t really care for macarons, normally), Amboise, Chinon, Loches, Chédigny, and, of course, Blois and Tours. Lovely Medieval centres.
And also a 12th century abbey, the Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud, where the body of Richard Lionheart is buried (but not his heart, which was embalmed and sent to Rouen, and his entrails, which were buried in Chalus…a bit gruesome, yes, but I thought it was really interesting) next to his wife and his parents.
Speaking of the parents, I have read quite a bit about this period of history, especially about Richard’s mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine (have you seen the BBC series “She-Wolves: England’s Early Queens”? Well, I found it enthralling…And Eleanor of Aquitaine is one of the…she-wolves). Anyway, that was all very interesting…Lots of history, there…
Okay, here are a few of my million photos (the earliest ones, up to Villandry…I may post more in the coming days)…
Oh, a quick note: with my “new” (relatively speaking, since I had the operation in late November) hip, I walked between 10-13 kilometres a day without any problems. Up and down hills, up and down stairs, too. I was, and am!, very pleased!