Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Castle Country

 I almost completely forgot about the châteaux of the Loire Valley!! One of the very reasons we decided to visit in the first place (as we have been enchanted by the Chenonceau castle adverstisments dotting halls of the Paris underground for months).  

SO. The architectural heritage of the Loire Valley is vast, to say the least. The royals discovered this lush area of France in the 10th century and nobility followed suit, creating a castle treasure trove for tourist today.  If you have ever been to the Biltmore in the US, the whole experience is quite similar.... except it is like there are hundreds of Biltmores within a 100 mile radius. 

We decided on Château Villandry, Château d'Azay-le-Rideau, Château de Amboise and of course the biggest Loire castle advertiser, Château de Chenonceau.

Let's start with the first stop,  Château Villandry.

My only picture inside the chateau.  As I'm sure you can tell, the surrounding grounds totally stole the show.

In love with the boxwoods lining the fountains in their slate blue planters..... definitely in the dream house blueprint.


M. and Mme. Swan France.  I bet their life is a little cushier than Mr. and Mrs. Swan Mississippi (who have purportedly been dodging alligators since the wedding). 

Also in the dream house blueprint.

Yes. Definitely.

Next, onto A'zay-le-Rideau. A considerably smaller chateau on less formally manicured grounds. (However, still winning substantial points for the moat).


Christmas card?

Finally - the illustrious metro castle, Chateau Chenonceau.

Until next time.

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