Tuesday, October 25, 2011

chasing chateaux in the loire valley.

on a cold, grey, windy day in the loire valley, this young lady spent a day exploring chateaux...

the valley (which doesn't really look like a valley) is home to over 300 chateaux, most of which were built in the heyday of the French royalty and nobility, centred around the 17th-18th centuries 

big ones, small ones, pretty ones and one very overwhelming one (440 rooms, what?)
it was unreal to try and take myself back to the days when these chateaux were actually inhabited

in total I saw four and took FAR too many photos (once again) of these majestic buildings, here is a small selection:

1. Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau
(my favourite)
the smallest chateau with the most stunning grounds filled with autumn trees

2. Chateau de Villandry
a newer chateau with the most perfectly manicured gardens

3. Chambord
the largest of the chateaus with 440 rooms, 365 fireplaces and 84 staircases, some are double helix staircases! this place is crazy and was originally built as hunting lodge

4. Chateau de Chenonceau
(my other favourite)
in my French classroom at school there was a poster of a beautiful chateau, I never knew the name of it and had always wanted to go there...and then....I wandered down this pretty tree lined pathway and found it in front of me. it was designed especially for women, you should have seen the kitchen! and then there was the garden...

love birds

Mum - the forest floor is covered in hundreds of wild purple cyclamen
Dad - your dream gardens at 4! it was huge and jam packed with veges, herbs and flowers (dahlias)

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