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Residents of Chateau Chenonceau

Chateau Chenonceau-River Cher

Gallery over the water-Chenonceau

Audenarde Tapestries 17c- Chenonceau

Kitchen-Chenoceau

Potts and Pans-Chenonceau

Butchery-Chenonceau

Bakery-Chenonceau

Flowers-Chenonceau

Cesare of Verdome's Bedroom-Chenonceau

Catharine de Medici's Bedroom-Chenonceau

5 Queens' Bedroom-Chenoceau

Gabrielle d'Estree's Bedroom-Chenonceau

Louise of Loraine's Bedroom-Chenonceau

Underground house-Banks of the Loire River

Place Victor Hugo-Blois

Chateau Royal de Blois

External staircase-Chateau Royal de Blois

Place St. Honore-Blois

16c Arch-Blois

Rue de Piere de Blois


Wednesday 14th April 2010 Weather:-Cold/overcast-9 degrees

Saumur to Blois 149k=2:15h

Driving around in France you find on the sides of the roads lots of signs to let us tourists know where all the Chateaus and Castles are and today one of them was actually on our itinerary. A stop at the Chateau de Chenonceau was high on our agenda today, situated on the Cher River and built in the 16th century. The layout has been copied from the former medieval fortresses that were surrounded by moats. Know as the 'Ladies Chateau' because it was owned or protected by 6 women over the ages the first one being Diane de Poitiers then Catherine de' Medici followed by Louise of Loraine it was Louise Dupin who protected it during the French Revolution. All these women and more added to it and left their mark. Built over the River Cher; it looks majestic and magical at the same time. While walking up to the Chateaux today we were startled to see some very big and fat water creatures—rats?? They were just going about their daily struggles?? (They looked as if they owned the place). While walking through the woods as you approach you start to get the feeling of what it must have been like to live there centuries ago. Upon entry we were in the guard room and even there the Flemish tapestries were absolutely beautiful, as we walked from room to room they were hung around in scenes that fit each room's decor adding richness to everything we saw. Going down into the servant's quarters we found everything laid out as it would have been in earlier times with the butcher's wing, the baker's oven, food preparation area, all separated into little alcoves. The different living quarters of the residents over the centuries have been well preserved with most bedrooms having an adjoining study in the pillars over the water it must be even more spectacular on a sunny day. The two different garden areas were in their early spring blooming period but unfortunately because of their grand scale and having such a dull day our photos did not do them justice. You may think that when viewing the photos that we were the only people there but believe me that was not the case, it takes a lot of patience to get photos with minimal people in them and even more patience to be a tourist over here, where ever you walk you seem to be in someone's way be it person or car and when in Holland you have to double that because of all the bikes!

While driving along the Loire and Cher Rivers today we were delighted with the scenery around us. The Apple blossoms are blooming, the swirl of the rivers fast flow out to sea and lovely little villages out in the distance but with about 48 photos taken by me I have only a couple not deleted as the silver haze that hangs around is not penetrate-able with our cameras. One of the things that struck us was that along the Loire River a lot of the houses were carved into the rock face; you can see the best one amongst the photos on top. Quite a lot of housing looks like it would not pass our living standards, I do not know if people just do not care or if they are just too poor to upgrade the buildings—some of the houses look very small as well so I don't know how it all works here in the French countryside.

Our next stop was Blois which is found between Tours and Orleans, in the Loire Valley. The main reason that people visit the town is the renowned Chateau de Blois in the centre of the town, although the town itself is also interesting. The Château Royal de Blois, a Renaissance château, once was occupied by King Louis XII, is located in the centre of the city and just around the corner of our hotel. In the town there is also an interesting 18th century stone bridge across the River Loire, and the town has lots of steep, winding streets and staircases to explore. The Chateau Royal de Blois was home to a series of French kings, and was also the place where Joan of Arc went (in 1429) to be blessed by the Archbishop of Reims before she departed with her army to drive the English from Orleans. We struggled around walking up hill and down then decided that we were not good enough tourists, we gave up, tomorrow is another day.

PS One of our frustrations is that my computer does not like the Wi-Fi connection called 'Orange' that is offered by the Ibis chain of hotels so nothing will be added to our website tonight. We have walked high and low through Blois to try to buy an Ethernet cable but none are available in this town. The funny thing about that is that the Novotel and Mercure hotels' Wi-Fi (owned by the same chain) logs on to my computer at first try, even my technical advisor cannot help me with this problem.



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