Kirk & Tess' Big Break travel blog

Tess and Chambord, Shall we live here?

Me in front of Chambord

Us in front of Chambord

If only the waters were still. The reflection is magnificent.

Chateau Chambord through the trees.

Rear view of Chambord.

One of the many horse and carriages taking visitors around.

Close up of the keep, with the French flag waving in the...

The drive to Chambord was fairly insignificant. The weather had dried out and it was sunny and warm, and although the traffic was a little bit busy, we were doing OK for time.

We stopped a rest stop to get some food, and have a breather. Tess was going to take over driving from that point, but it was getting heavier and heavier and she asked if I minded continuing for a while. I got back in after our food, and continued until we had gone past Orleans, and then the traffic had started to thin out. I pulled over at the next rest area, and told Tess to drive from there, as there was only 35 minutes or so left. She did a good job, and was doing the max speed (130km\h) in no time.

We got to Chambord and had some fun parking, given we'd come so late in the afternoon, the first 2 car parks were full. We parked just over the small creek which extends in front of the Chateau. Tess and I went to look and see the magnificent structure. The shape is very iconic, and some of my French friends asked specifically for a picture of this when I last came. That was easy to do. This time it was harder, as one of the main towers is undergoing renovations at the front, which spoils the picture a little. Also, there was a grand stand in front of the Chateau the last time I came to visit, which was no longer there.

I went around the balustrade between the path and the water and sat down just to soak up what was in front of me. Scaffolding and plastic wrap aside, it is still a lovely building. The outside is very pretty, but I know from my last trip that the inside is a bit boring and does not have all that much to see. Certainly for the 16 euro per adult, not worth going inside in my eyes. I said this to Tess, and she agreed, so we went around the opposite side of the Chateau to take some pictures.

We walked past the abbey on the nearest side of the chateau, and there was a wedding about to begin, or looked to be beginning. We continued around, and this time, I got to take pictures of the rear of the Chateau, without the construction works ruining the picture. Last time, it was the rear left tower which was being cleaned. We took some pictures here, including one with a horse and cart going by, and its stage operator in traditional period costume (the poor guy!).

We decided we'd go into the boutique to look for souvenirs after our pictures, and spent about 15 minutes going through the various items. When we came out of the boutique however, it was pouring. And not just raining pouring, I mean heaven's dam has overflowed, and it's raining biblical amounts. We stayed where we were for about 15 mins, and it just got heavier.

So, the two of us decided to make a go of getting to the car, where we'd left our umbrellas. Why didn't we take them? It was 24 and bone dry only 30 minutes earlier. Who would have known that when we came to France, we'd bring Melbourne's weather with us. By the time we got to the nearest corner, back close to the abbey, I was soaked. I looked like I had gone swimming in my clothes. We waited here about 10 minutes and the rain eased, so we decided to make a break for the township nearby.

This worked, until the rain started coming down hard again. We had some proper shelter here, however we were both getting cold and decided we couldn't get any wetter than we already were. Plus, we had dry clothes and a heater in the car. We made our way back to the car in the increasingly heavy rain. When we arrived, we found out car park number 2 does not have a ticket machine to pay for parking. Only car park 0 and car park 1 have payment machines. So I grabbed an umbrella, and headed back to pay for parking. I told Tess to wait inside the car.

When I got back we drove down river to Amboise, where our accommodation is for the next 3 nights. It's a lovely bed and breakfast inside an old manor. Things are looking pretty nice here, although the room is a tad small inside. At least its dry!

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