France 2015
Day 5

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This is the story of our trip to France in May of 2015.  It was part of a round the world trip that also included London
and the USA (New York, Niagara Falls, Canyon Country and the Tall Trees)'

This is Day 4 the final day of our tour - Château de Chenonceau - Château de Cheverny - Château de Chambord - Paris  - distance around 270 km.

Tour description:

After breakfast, begin your final day in the Loire Valley with guided visits to Chenonceau, Cheverny and Chambord — three of the most impressive châteaux in the region. The four arches of the Château de Chenonceau span the Cher River and put Chenonceau firmly among France’s finest châteaux. Château de Chambord is a vast Renaissance Palace set in a wooded park.  Enjoy a farewell lunch at the Hotel Saint-Hubert in Cheverny. Depart Chambord 4:30 PM to central Paris in your luxury coach to conclude your tour. Arrive Paris around 7:00 PM.

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Day - 5 Tour Day 4 - Final Day of the Tour    Day - 5  Tour Day 4
10-May-2015
 
 Today we planned to get to the first chateau by opening time - 9 AM.  This was the Château de Chenonceau, a really awesome place.  Inside was grand and the gardens were sculptured.  The history even more fascinating.  Time passed quickly here and we soon had to leave for the next chateau, before we had explored only a fraction of the grounds.  The next chateau was the Chateau Cheverny.  Surprisingly the current owner is not a corporation etc but a person whose family has owned the chateau on and off for the last 6 centuries.  This chateau was equally amazing in style and grandeur.  After lunch we moved onto the Estate of Chambord - coming through the markets and seeing the grand architecture of the chateau for the first time is inspiring.  Large and imposing the design is captivating.  As this was a hunting lodge it was never furnished (or even finished); the king and guests would bring their own.  Surprisingly it was used for only 72 days by its owner, King Francis I of France in his 32 years reign.  Inside, the double helix staircase by Da Vinci is intriguing. The chateau's main problem was it is almost impossible to heat properly and is freezing in winter.  After this chateau we had a long drive back to Paris.

Tour Day 4  

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Entrance to Château de Chenonceau  It is the most visited Château in France, besides the Royal Palace of Versailles. Sphinx on guard.
Marques Tower, an flour mill  converted to a residence. Catherine De Medici's Garden from the Chateau entrance. Original Chateau burnt down in 1412, rebuilt in around 1430 and again in 1515-1521.
The Guard's room - Lavish furnishings, 16th century Flanders tapestries. The chapel La Vierge au Viole Bleu by Giovanni-Battasta Sassferrato 1605 - 1685
According to the brochure, this glass-protected graffiti  was scratched there by Mary Stuart's Scottish guards 1543 & 1546 - could be true. "La mise au tombeau" by Sabastiano de Piombo Diane de Poitiers Bedroom - King Henry II's favourite.  Furnishings include two 16th century Flanders tapestries
Above the fireplace a portrait of Diane d'Anet. Cesar of Vendome's Bedroom. Catherine De Medici's Bedroom.
The grand gallery, which extended along the existing bridge to cross the entire river, was dedicated in 1577   L'Infant Jésus et Saint Jean by Peter Paul Rubens
Diane de Poitiers as Diane the Huntress by Le Primatice 1556 The Three Graces by van Loo Louis XIV Drawing Room.
Louise de Lorraine's bedroom The walls and ceiling are painted black with silver-grey patterns of feathers.  
  Catherine De Medici's Garden from the inside the Chateau. Looking down on the moat.
The Kitchens The Dining Room The Butchery
The monumental spit   Catherine De Medici's Garden
Boat access.   Diane De Poitiers Garden
  The Chateau from the Diane De Poitiers Garden  
On the way out of the Château de Chenonceau Chateau Cheverny - In the family hands for 6 centuries - give and take a couple of slips. Chateau Cheverny - heading to the front door.
The family still lives on the estate although not in the public open areas.   The nursery
Bridal Chamber   The arms room.
    The King's Bedchamber.
     
Tin Tin Tiles!! Portrait of Marie Johanne de la Carre The Library.
Rear View - Chateau Cheverny The grounds  
  Vegetable garden - Chateau Cheverny Open air market - the Estate of Chambord
The amazing Estate of Chambord.

Parish church Saint-Louis of Chambord

Entrance - building started in 1519.
    Coach Room
Field of the Cloth of Gold.  Painting depicting the meeting that took place in June 1520, between King Henry VIII of England and King Francis I of France Crop of King Henry VIII from the painting, Field of the Cloth of Gold As the calcareous stone erodes the beautiful statues, they have been replaced and stored.
The famous double spiral staircase - possibly designed by Leonardo da Vinci.   Huge rooms now house local art.
     
These apartments of the third floor are dazzling.    
    Actors play out a historic scene or perhaps thinking of lunch.
    Boating along the moat.
A long shot from beyond the moat. Driving away back to Paris Wind farm
Congested freeway - the end to a long week-end.    
Back in Paris - perhaps Yes, it's Paris as here we go past the Eiffel tower again.  

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