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Saturday, 15 September 2012

Days 7-9 the last of the Loire and end of the tour.


Another magnificent country home - the Château de Villandry.




This second bedroom must have been where all the action was - it's known as the Five Queens Bedroom  - no more will be said on that subject !!

                            


The castle went into some disrepair after the revolution, and was bought by a wealthy spaniard in the late 19th century - you can see his influence in the ceiling of his bedroom - done in the Moorish style.  For those into 3D this is for you !



Here's where the real work happens - slaving over a hot stove.... (just like home!)



The gardens at Villandry are just soooo neat and tidy - Mr Spick and Mrs Span would have trouble keeping up to this standard !




Check out the maze - can you find Wally?  Alternatively - which one is the most devilishly handsome?




Our accommodation at Hotel Diderot in Chinon - a very quaint establishment run by two sisters and a brother.


with a lovely courtyard for relaxing



and a lovely breakfast room - with 26 lovely jam selections for the lovely people


and it's rustic on the inside as well.




The Chartres cathedral
                                                       





The front door - the whole church is currently being given a scrub up, this has been in progress for 35 years.  We know why it's taking so long too - they were at it whilst we were there.  The brush they use is no bigger than a toothbrush - seriously !!!



The 24 hour clock on the cathedral



You can see the contrast between the before cleaning and after cleaning here... the stone carving on the inside is so intricate - amazing.


And like most other cathedrals, the stained glass is amazing..





On the road again - a windmill in a paddock - apparently not as common a site as it used to be.





Back on the road and we've arrived at Chenonceau, one of the last visits of the trip. This is the avenue from the front gate - it's a bit of an indicator as to what to expect next...


One of the gardens at Chenonceau



The front view of the Chateau de Chenonceau - we were just about chateaued out by this stage - in case you're wondering why the chateau itself doesn't get centre of stage !!  The building in the foreground is actually the gate keepers - the chateau is in the background.




This is the back half of the chateau Chenonceau, built over the river  --  just to be different.


We're not quite sure if this was their sitting room, ball room, dining room, reception room ....




On our final leg of the tour of the Loire valley - we did a flying visit to the fairytale castle Chambord - can you believe it was only used as a hunting lodge?

 


It was never furnished because the King always had his furniture carted all the way from Paris for each of his visits.  No wonder the peasants were revolting !!




There are just a few more of the guided trip tour photos to bring to you - and then we'll be off to get some mustard at Dijon - and meeting with Katrina's parents-in-law at Beaune.  Here are a couple of teasers for you.....



The railway at Dijon - these trains go so fast, you meet yourself coming back!




Enjoying a cup of tea at Dijon - not !  Although the receptionist was very gracious to make and bring us a cup of tea to our room - she might have used boiling water from a kettle - not hot water from the tap !! ( I did order it en francaise - perhaps something got lost in translation ?!?








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