Chateau Cheverny and Chateau Fougieres
06.06.2014 - 06.06.2014 86 °F
Woke up to clear, blue skies. Predictions are for mid 80's and lots of sunshine. Hopefully the day will be nice everywhere as they are commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion in Normandy.
Going to take a bit of a ride today to Chateau Cheverny and then see what strikes our mood on the way back home. Cheverny is to the southeast of Amboise and a little more than an hour's drive. Among it's many claims to fame, it was used as a model for the Tin Tin comics. If you were to block out the two end towers, you'll see what I mean. More on that later.
The drive started out pleasant enough, until we realized that we left our rental papers and international driving permits home. We circled back to grab them and then headed off once again. The ride takes you through two forests, a bunch of small towns and some beautiful fields and vineyards. We passed by an airplane tour of the valley location. The pilot seemed to be readying the plane and waved us in as we stopped to take a quick picture. It sounded like a cool thing to do, but Sue would never fly in such a small plane and who knows what the cost would have been.
It wasn't too much longer before we arrived at the town of Cheverny. It was a cute little town with a few places to eat, a couple of Gites and of course, the chateau. There was plenty of free parking available near to the chateau. There were cars and buses in the lots, but it still seemed pretty quiet.
We paid our admission - €9.50 each plus €4.50 for the special exposition. The special exposition is a building set up with everything Tin Tin. The chateau is large and very ornate, but in a simple manner. It isn't over the top like some of the others. The front entrance is plain. There is a huge lawn with trees here and there, and then a large stony area. The pictures are better then my explanation.
Inside the chateau, the furnishings are all very tasteful and family oriented, albeit a rich family.
The back of the chateau is home to some very lovely gardens, but once again, they are very tastefully done. It is a pleasant stroll through the gardens back to the Orangerie. It is rumored that the Mona Lisa, among other artworks, was hidden here during WWII. It was just a note as today was the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasion.
After strolling through the grounds we headed over to the kennel. Chateau Cheverny is also famous for it's hounds. Hounds as in fox hunt hounds. Quite frankly, the kennel area was sort of stinky, literally. We plugged our noses and headed in the other direction.
Our last stop would be the Tin Tin exposition. It was a building set up so that as you walked through, you saw rooms set up like in the comic strip. It was neat to see the original comic strips and some of the other wacky things portrayed as real life objects. The tie in is that the chateau in the comic strip was modeled after Cheverny. Quite enjoyable.
After our visit, we were hungry and decided to check out someplace in town. Right across from the exit was Le Terrasse du Pinocchio, how could we resist. Pizza's, wine and orangina topped off our tummies before we got back on the road.
Since it was only a little past 3:00, we decided to stop at Chateau Fougiere on the way home. It is a smallish feudal castle, definitely a man castle as Sue would say. Price here was only €5.50 each and the walk- through took us about an hour.
We were officially castled out and headed home. It was such a great day, we just drove with the windows down and enjoyed the fresh air. When we arrived at the last roundabout before town, we stopped to fill up the gas tank and then got crazy and washed the car at a self-wash place. Things were going ok until the kindly attendant came over to help me with the dirty wheels. He spoke no English and we all know about my French - hilarity ensued. When done, the car was clean and I was humbled, but I think I made a new friend.
Now it was home to rest before dinner. The hot sun had tired us both out, so it felt good to prop up our weary legs and rest. Dinner at La Patio for our final meal before heading back to Paris. This has been a wonderful trip to the Loire. We've had great meals and wines, seen some beautiful sites and have enjoyed staying in our rental here in Amboise.
Time to sleep, as we have an early morning ahead.