Royal Jubilations

An all-American girl explores England

France Day 6 (Wednesday): Cheverny, Chambord, and Blois

on September 6, 2012
BloisChambord from the waterChambord form the boatChambordfrom the top of Chambordthe top of the double-helix staircase at Chambord
music room at Chevernynursery at Chevernyminiature suit of armour at Chevernythe parc at ChevernyChevernyTintin books in the gift shop at Cheverny
France Day 6, a set on Flickr.

If you’ve ever read the Tintin comic books, you’ll know that Cheverny is portrayed in a couple of the stories, thus the nickname “The Tintin Castle.” Cheverny is definitely a sissy castle, but I really liked how the rooms were arranged inside. Ancestors of the original aristocratic family currently own the chateau, and they’ve done a beautiful job preserving the history of the place. Cheverny has been open to the public since 1922, and it has only been closed on 3 occasions during all those years – it’s welcomes visitors 365 days a year! After viewing the interiors of the castle, we took a walk around the grounds, where we encountered some of the hunting hounds that call Cheverny home. They smelled bad. Then we took our pique-nique near the canal and enjoyed lunch in the shade of a beautiful tree.

Chambord was another vast, Disney-type Chateau with bazillions of tourists. People, this place is huge. The most notable feature, besides its imposing façade, is the double helix staircase. It wasn’t an easy castle to navigate because there weren’t any guide paths or signs. So I saw some rooms a lot of times and completely missed out on entire wings of the place. There was a really bizarre art exhibit on one floor. Man, I was so confused in that place – it’s a mad house in there. But after wandering aimlessly around inside, we rented boats to go around it and that was better. Still it’s just a big dump as far as I’m concerned. Gee whiz. Big deal.

We drove back to Loches via Blois, which is where my friend just spent a year teaching English. I made them stop the car so I could get out and take some pictures of the castle and town, but we didn’t go in. Maybe on a return trip, I’ll get a chance to explore Blois further, because it seemed like a charming town.

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