Chateau Chenonceau and Chateau Chaumont-sur-Loire
03.06.2014 - 03.06.2014 65 °F
The skies were overcast but the forecasters said the rain would hold off, so we decided to go visiting. A couple nearby chateaux were on tap, not that I didn't trust the weatherman.
We started out around 10:30 am for Chateau Chenonceau. It is another of my favorites in the Loire. It definitely has a more refined look to it and that would be proper given its history. It is referred to as the Chateau of the Five Women.
A little history lesson. In 1547, Henry II gave the chateau to his mistress Diane de Poitiers. She created most of the lovely gardens and built the famous bridge that spans the River Cher. When he died, his wife, Catherine de'Medici, forced Diane to leave the chateau and move to Chateau Chaumont-sur-Loire. Catherine de'Medici had the great gallery added to the bridge spanning the river so she could hold large parties. In addition to the two loves of Henry II, three other woman played a role in shaping Chenonceau. Louise of Lorraine, Louise Dupin and Marguerite Pelouze. You can check the internet if you want to know about them.
Back to the chateau. Let's take a look at some pictures. We spent a couple hours here just strolling the paths and gardens, before taking a look inside.
We grabbed sandwiches and beverages and had ourselves a little picnic lunch. So far the weather is cooperating. The clouds are just teasing us. I'm sure it is raining somewhere nearby.
Since the weather is cooperating, we are going to take a ride over to Chateau Chaumont-sur-Loire. This is the Chateau that Diane de Poitiers was exiled to by Catherine de'Medici. Life must have been quite difficult for her in such a ranshackle place.
Diane did not live here long, but she remains a part of its legacy.
The chateau has been maintained and restored and today is famous for its many art exhibits and gardens. Experts and artists worldwide come to Chaumont to present their works and gardens. It is a great place to walk and relax among the flowers with the Loire River flowing below.
All that said, it wasn't one of my favorites as I'm not a big art lover. I love classic paintings, but contemporary art is not for me. If you want to visit to see just the grounds and the chateau, make sure you get the proper ticket. They have an all-inclusive and a separate chateau and grounds ticket at different prices.
Ok, so now a few raindrops could be felt so we headed back home. We are just 16km from Amboise and there is not much traffic. Once settled, we head to the grocery store for a few items than back to the house to relax for a while. All these stone stairs and inclines have my legs sore and tired.
A nice refreshing rest was just what the doctor ordered. We went into town to a restaurant called Chez Bruno and had a great dinner. The food was awesome, the service was superb and the prices were reasonable. We were there at the same time as a group of Brits, we think they were on a golfing holiday, who were getting totally hammered before dinner. Luckily, they went inside and though still a bit noisy, we were able to enjoy our meal with just a few other pleasant people outside.
As I like to say, another perfect day. Looks like tomorrow is going to be chilly and rainy, so it might be a good day to relax and rest at home.