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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Blois and the Loire Valley

 The Chateaux of the Loire Valley are world-famous for their luminous beauty.  Guidebooks show you the reflection of their spiraling towers on the water, surrounded by blooming colorful trees and flowers. 

On our trip, we didn't exactly get the guidebook-promised experience, since it was about 38 degrees and rainy the entire time.  We still managed to have a good time, and almost the entire group (minus 3 sleepyheads) ventured around the quiet town of Blois and found a bar with a dance floor!  (Le Loch Ness...)

Here are some highlights:

The Chateau at Blois:
This Chateau was built in three distinct time periods, and you can easily see this from the plaza in front of it:

King Francois I built this spiral staircase, kicking off the French Renaissance:

The Chateau at Chambord is one of the most majestic, with 28 towers spiraling up:  

Like Blois, it is barely furnished (and barely heated in winter), as the Kings used to move from Castle to Castle.  It too has a spiral staircase, but this one is a double helix! 

My favorite was the Chateau at Cheverney, probably because it was heated.  (And the noble family still lives there!)  The author of TinTin was inspired by this castle for one of his books, and Ardy, Casey and I recreated the picture - coming soon!

Until next time!  --Feel free to leave a comment or send me an email!  (Thanks Jody and Maria!) 


1 comment:

  1. Hey Samantha!
    That Blois staircase is a favorite of some of my architecture profs at MD. Tres elegante!
    Glad you were exploring!!!