Monday, August 10, 2009

Land of inspiring Castles

A long time ago, I had become keen to visit the Loire Valley. Years, decades past, and I never did get there. Now that chance arrived but only one day to do it in. Solution book a linkparis tour which offered a four chateau tour in one day with travel to the region by TGV. Not an urban sort by nature, I looked forward to this day in the country.

The thought occurred to me on this trip: if every little doll house that Susan and Laura once had looked like it had been modeled on buildings from Paris then their plastic toy My Little Pony and Barbie castles could have been inspired (sans the pink color!) by the grand limestone castles of the Loire. There's beautiful Chenonceau built over the water and approached by a broad woodland path; Amboise where Mary Queen of Scotts spent many of her growing up years; Chambord the largest with its double spiral stairway and Cheverny where the same family has lived for centuries and continues to keep its hunting dogs (whose feeding time is now made famous on youtube. ) Our lunch in the town of Amboise a treat with a just out of the oven quiche and a fresh salad. Delectable desserts too but I always like the macaroons in many flavors best.

Photos: Flags flying at Amboise; beautiful Chenonceau; detail of carving in limestone; quiche and salad for lunch in Amboise; macaroons on display; one little plastic castle still found in our basement: immense Chambord; some of the dogs at Cheverny waiting for feeding time.

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