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Loire Valley

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We stayed in a nice, though enormous, gte in the town of Poc-sur-Cisse, which is just north of Amboise.

ZE2G0975.jpg Our front door.

From here we explored the area.  There must be 30 chateaux in the area, most of which have been turned into museums.  We were quickly reaching our limit on castle-watching, so we picked just 2 to explore, though we wandered around the outside of a few others.  As expected based on our experiences throughout France, the gardens here are amazing.  They also produce a little wine. (This is an understatement for those not familiar with the area.)

And while there are a few animals about, the only one we saw was a cute, though injured, hedgehog. 


There was a note in the gte advising against feeding any of the animals, including the sheep and the chickens.  We saw none of these! 









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We lived just across the Loire from the chateau, but we were out in the country.  Most of the land was covered in vines, but there were patches of sunflowers thrown in for color! 


Chateau Royal

The first, and most prominent chateau in our area was Chateau Royal, which is in Amboise.  This was apparently the home of Francios I during Leonardo Da Vinci's time.  We did not wander through, but did admire it from afar.  Interestingly, we ate dinner at the base of the chateau on our first evening in Amboise, and we did not even know there was a chateau there!  We thought they were walls to the city, or something.  The next morning we approached Amboise from a different direction - imagine our surprise! 

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Clos Luce

This was a chateau given by Franois I to Leonardo DaVinci.  The latter died here after three happy years.  He and the king were fast friends, there is even a secret passageway from here to Chateau Royal!  The inside of this chateau was like all the rest until you came to the basement, where many of his great inventions were built in miniature!  

 ZE2G0729.jpg The children completing their scavenger hunt.

By far the best part of the visit was the grounds, however!

ZE2G0766.jpg ZE2G0810.jpg Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang. ZE2G0798.jpg


Okay, you will all laugh at us when we tell you why we went to Blois, which is the next bigger town after Amboise, just up the river.  We needed a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!  We ordered a copy from The Red Wheelbarrow in Paris, and we knew that it was sent on Saturday, but when it hadn't arrived by Tuesday, we were a little nervous.  Our address in Poce-sur-Cisse was a little odd, and we were worried that we had gotten it wrong.  What we found was a beautiful town, but no 'Arry Pottre!

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Chateau Chenonceaux

This chateau was half in occupied France, half in Vichy, France during the war! 


ZE2G0651.jpg The mistress' garden

ZE2G0614.jpg ZE2G0620.jpgThe Anika fountain!

ZE2G0589.jpg in addition to the formal gardens there were large grounds, including this labyrinth.


Chateau Chaumont-sur-Loire



In the gardens of this chateau there is a festival of gardens.  This year's theme was movement.  I expected here to be many mobiles blowing in the wind.  The artist took movement in many different senses.  The migrations of people, the difficulty in movement of those in wheel chairs, traveling, and more! 






Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows


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This was the big week!  By the end of the week, all of us had read the book.  Want to send us your comments on the book? 


That's all for France.  From here we headed towards Switzerland


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Last modified: 06/13/08