Tuesday, November 29, 2011

France - Sept 24 - What a great birthday

Well, if you had asked me, how do you want to spend your 40th birthday, I probably would not have had many preferences, but what beats spending it in France visiting beautiful chateau's?

We would leave Tours today and drive back towards Paris into Versailles for the night.  On the way, we would visit several more chateau's.

The first and easily the most breathtaking was Chateau de Chenonceau built over the River Cher.  It was given to King Henry II's mistress Diane de Poitiers but of course after his death, it was repossessed by Catherine de Medici.  Built in the 1400's, it would reach it most glorious condition in the 1560's under the control of Catherine de Medici.

The chateau spanning the River Cher.

The Marques tower.

Diane de Portiers would build the bridge connecting the original chateau and then Catherine de Medici would enclose the bridge area to make it into part of the chateau.

Our next stop was the town of Blois where we had a nice lunch in a sidewalk cafe.  Matt and I wandered around the town until we found the chateau perched high on top of the hill.  This chateau was quite unique as it seems that every french king who lived here, just decided to build another wing, therefore it was constructed from the 13th to the 17th century.  The chateau boasts 564 rooms with fireplaces (of which 100 are bedrooms) and 75 staircases.

Fit for a queen!!

This is only one side of the 4 sided courtyard filled with the chateau.

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