I’d been dying to take a trip through the Loire Valley for years. Matt & I actually drove through and then stayed in Tours on our France road trip in September, but after seeing how very many chateaus still remained to be seen, I knew another trip needed to happen!
When Katherine & I were tossing around ideas for the route we’d take to get from the south west corner of France where we were staying in Ascain (see those photographs here), Katherine mentioned the possibility of going to see Château de Chenonceau! We didn’t end up making it to that particular stunner, but by staying in Blois, it allowed us to be within driving distance of three stunning domaines.
Our morning stroll took us past the Château de Blois [nbd] with a stunning overlook of the little city. Fun fact: don’t go into a coffee shop in Blois and try to order a café crème, because they will staunchly insist that it’s the same thing as a café latte [it’s not]. Apparently the Château de Blois has an AMAZING spiral staircase (which we ALL know are the only place to have a proper swordfight), but I totally missed it!
In the afternoon, we headed over to Château d’Amboise which I’d really been hoping to see, and caught the last few rays of light that afternoon. After a dinner of savory crêpes, we headed home, and returned to Amboise the next day to enter and explore the château grounds! Amboise is built on the hillside, and Katherine & I kept remarking on how utterly weird it would have been to be a peasant growing up in the town, and NEVER see the inside of the castle that looms so ostentatiously (literally casting show) over the entire village. We also discovered that Leonardo DaVinci is buried in the chapel at Amboise on his request!
Lastly, we ventured to Château de Chambord. This was one I’d been looking forward to for a long time- Matt & I had wanted to make it out in September but it didn’t work out, so getting there with Katherine was such a joy! We made it in about 45 minutes before closing, so my tour was a speed round [which clearly means I’ll need to go back someday], but I was thrilled just to see it in person.
It was massive. The fireplaces alone were large enough to stand in, which makes sense when you look at how open the floor plans were in the common areas. Add to that, the double-helix staircase at the center of the castle opens up to the outdoors once it reaches the roof, and it must have been COLD at Chambord in the winter.
Do you think they have enough chimneys? I dunno… I personally think the roofline could use a few more.
Shot on the Contax 645 with a combination of Fuji400H & Portra400, developed & scanned by the best lab in the world, The FIND Lab!
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