Monday, May 28, 2012

Catching up with castles.

 Just thought I'd do another post to try and get caught up.  The shot above was taken on the rainy day and is a picture of the chateau at Amboise, taken from across the Loire river as we were traveling down to Blois.  We visited it a couple of days later and there are a few more pictures a bit further down.
This shot is of the Loire River.  So many amazing spots, such a beautiful country.
 This is the Chateau of Chaumont, taken whilst driving by.
 This is Chambord, one of the largest chateau in the Loire Valley.  And one of the most visited, from what I can gather.  We came here on a gloriously sunny day.  Along with a whole lot of other people.  It was too much for me so we didn't go in!
 We visited Amboise the next day.  A beautiful little town on the banks of the Loire.  It's the town shown in the first picture on this post.   Most of the chateau has been demolished and only this part and another church tower remain.
 This shot is taken from the ramparts of Amboise chateau and features the clock tower.  You pass through the gates under the clock tower and there is a lovely little street with no cars that one can amble up and down (as we did!).  Quite tourist-y however.  And I guess, why not!
This shot is taken from inside the chateau, looking back at the chateau itself and at the city at the base of the ramparts. This is what we could see from across the river in the first shot.  Charming.
 We then drove on to the chateau of Chenonceaux.  At the left in the photo above is the Marques tower,  all that was kept when all else was demolished in the 16th century to build the chateau.  Below you can see part of the 'new' chateau.
 But this is what makes Chenonceaux so unique:  the gallery spans 60 feet across the River Cher and was built on the site of Diane de Poitiers' bridge by Catherine de Medici in 1576.  This gallery was used during the First World War as a hospital.
(More history: "In the Second World War, the River Cher corresponded to the line of demarcation.  The entrance to the chateau was therefore in the occupied zone right bank.  The gallery where the South door gave access to the left bank made it possible for the Resistance to pass large numbers of people into the free zone.  Throughout the war a German artillery unit was kept at the ready to destroy Chenonceau." This information is taken from the Visitor's guide to the Chateau.)

 On a more peaceful note, these little guys were our picnic companions when we stopped on a little byway in the mid-afternoon.
This is the Chateau of Montresor, a sweet little town that we went to later that afternoon.
 This is a shot of the church in Montresor and some of the rooftops.  Imagine how narrow the little streets are that are in front of, between, behind, etc. all of these houses!!
We passed this small holding on the road on the way home.  The light was just perfect.  I wonder what stories it could tell.
So, we're nearly caught up.
More in a bit.

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