Loire Valley

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 1. The Château de Chambord, 2. Royal pottery at the Château de Blois, 3. Strutting out of the Château de Blois courtyard, 4. The Château de Chambord with Marisa, 5. Pretty flowers surrounding the Château d'Angers, 6. Looking out from the balcony of Chambord, 7. Olivia and Carolyn being weird at the Parc de Langeais, 8. Inside the Château de Blois staircase, 9. Intricate architecture at Chambord, 10. Little french kids looking out at the grassy front entrance of the Chambord, 11. With Nhyria, Emma, Olivia, Heather, Marisa, Hannah, and Carolyn at Chambord, 12. Walking towards the Château de Chenonceau, 13. The Parc de Langeais 

        Last week was the start of our first break, La Toussaint, which is a two week break across France. To kick off the much need vacation, we took a school trip around the Loire Valley, which is an area full of historical chateaus. We began the trip with a visit to the Chateau d'Angers, the single medieval chateau we visited. Constructed in stone with a simplistic layout, we could easily note the time period from our vast studies of chateaus in Art History. We were then taken on a guided visit of the Tenture de l'Apocalypse, which no, it does in fact not involve zombies. Bummer. After a bit of exploration there, we were taken to the donjon and park de Langeais. The park was a bit quirkier of an attraction, outfitted with cut-out figures and a treehouse too. The donjon was quite run-down and didn't have as much interest to everyone as the the cut-out figures (typical). After a bit of reliving our childhoods by playing on the swings, we set out for our quaint hotel in Tours. 

The next day had to be my favorite of all three. The day started with a quick visit to the Cathedral Saint-Gatien, which resembled the one which I visited when I went to Prague this summer. After admiring the colorful stain glass windows, we trekked on over to the Chateau de Blois. From my perspective, this chateau had a medieval feel in the sense of the earthy coloring, although it was created during the Middle-Ages. There we started to see different elements of a chateau that we had talked about in class, like the utterly-confusing double staircases. For lunch, we were able to go into the town of Blois to eat, and my friends and I ate some Italian food to curb our baguette addiction. Hunger a thing of the past, we made the much anticipated drive to the Chateau de Chambord. Of all of the chateaus, this is 100% the one we most heavily studied, including a test that I gracefully bombed (half-kidding). The second I descended from our coach-bus, I was in complete awe! For being just the hunting house of Francois 1er, this chateau was pretty incredible. The architecture alone was spectacular, but the rooms were just as lavish and fit for a king, despite his death before its completion. We were given almost the whole afternoon there, even though we really could've spent the entire day there. In addition to the actual building, the grounds were also worth exploring. 

Finally, we took on the Chateau de Chenonceau and the gardens of Catherine de Medicis and Diane de Poitiers. Prior to our visit, we were told that this chateau allegedly inspired Walt Disney's design of Cinderella's castle, which evokes the same fantasy feel. This chateau was a lot less large in comparison to Chambord, but it was the gardens and mini-maze that added to the charm of the smaller chateau. When I came back from this trip, I was asked more than once which chateau I had preferred, but it was hard to compare for me. Inside, Chenonceau has a homier feel, with cozy fire places and common-place furniture. On the other hand, Chambord has gold upon gold and an ornate style that I couldn't imagine living in today, yet it is incredible. Eventually, we left for lunch in the town of Amboise, which was a cheap cafe for us because we had spent a bit too much the day before. Practically sleep walking to the bus, the next thing on our agenda was a rather random visit to the Robert Tatin museum, who was a French artist.

Hopefully this recap isn't too long! This may seem silly, but I've already been enjoying looking back at blog posts from the very beginning of being in France, and I am glad that I have been posting pictures/text regarding my school year abroad. When it comes to school trips, we only have one more to the Mont Saint Michel (actually going on it), and then it'll be Christmas before I know it! Things are surely going quickly. I'll be back with another outfit soon enough, and then most likely another picture round up. If you have any other post requests, please leave me some below, otherwise this will probably turn into a strictly travel/outfit posts blog. Kidding. Have a wonderful day! xoxo


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