Carol-IvanTravels travel blog

We had time to explore Bourges a bit this morning

Ivan went to the Garden des Pres-Fichaux

Many lovely flowers


A sculptured hedge

And this interesting creature

We went to the Loire Valley to see this castle

Chateau de Selles Sur Cher, a private 16th century castle...

...being loving restored (over 10 years so far)

by a French couple who fell in love with it

Even the old bells still work

The oldest section from 1140 still in progress

The inner courtyard tree - huge; over 300 years old

In its shade - a wine and cheese tasting!

On to the 426-room 'hunting lodge' - Chambord

What can one say about such a huge place with...

...77 stone staircases and 282 fireplaces?

The roofline is a maze of chimneys, towers, and spires

It is possible to get on the roof amongst all that


The Royal Wing was elegantly furnished



This chateau has been designated a UNESCO site

After going to the pharmacy where a gracious lady was helpful and sold Ivan a pkg. Of stick-on pads for his sore foot (under the ball) we split up to explore Bourges some more. Ivan went to see a garden while I went to the open air market and found a more practical purse to replace the floppy denim-like one I bought a few months ago and never really liked. I also bought some picnic lunch sandwiches.

We then traveled to the tiny town of Selles-Sur-Cher to tour a privately owned lovely old castle being restored. What a huge job after it had been vandalized and left to the elements for several years. We could roam the house, the servants' quarters, the barnyard (complete with animals now) and the old fortress tower. While there we were treated to a wine tasting and a cheese tasting on the lawn in the shade of a huge 300+ year-old tree. The wines were drier than we like but the goat cheeses were good. We also ate our picnic lunches we'd brought with us. It was a fun time and we admired the dedication of the French couple to restore the castle complex.

Mid-afternoon we saw and toured part of Chambord castle. It was built to be a 426-room 'hunting lodge' that young French King Frances I (25 years old) stayed in for only 72 days in his lifetime. Talk about over-the-top! We spent 1 ½ hours mainly in the Royal Wing; never saw the whole castle.

This amazingly huge and complex structure with many architectural features from Renaissance Italy has 77 stone staircases and 282 fireplaces! It has a double spiral staircase that links the chateau's 3 floors. (It comprises 2 concentric spiral flights of stairs that wind independently around a hollow column so 2 people can each walk one flight and see each other through openings in the central column but never meet!) I decided I'd never have learned my way around this monstrosity if I had had to live here!

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