A Chateau A Day
Our fourth and fifth days in France were pretty much consistent: we visited chateau after chateau throughout the Loire Valley, marveling at all of the styles and the history and the grandeur. The first day, we walked around Blois in the morning, ate some breakfast at the only cafe that seemed to be open in the whole town, then trekked uphill to the Château de Blois. You may recognize its infamous spiral staircase (which neither Ashley nor I realized was at this chateau until we walked in and saw it). It was also the place where Catherine de Medici died, bringing us some nice ties back to Florence (where Ashley has been living and where she and I met). Next we drove out to Château de Chambord, which was a huge sprawling estate -- the whole ordeal felt too overdone though and there was unfortunately extensive construction being done across one side of the building, impeding our experience. The final chateau of the day was Château de Cheverny, which was my favorite of the three that day if only due to its perfect symmetry and extensive gardens. Following our visit to Cheverny, we stopped by a wine tasting at the huge wine center right outside the gates and after more than enough wine and purchasing a few bottles, we headed back to Blois for the night.