Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The beautiful flowers of the Chateau de Chenonceaux in the Loire Valley in France

The beautiful flowers at the Chateau de Chenoceaux in France

On the way to Bordeaux from Paris last week, living a never-ending Travelife, we stopped over for one night in a pretty decent and charming bed-and-breakfast in the castle town of Amboise, in the Loire Valley.

We could have flown Air France from Paris to Bordeaux (and, in fact, this was what we did on the way back) or taken the five-hour TGV.






The beautiful flowers at the Chateau de Chenoceaux in France

However, the Travel Companion was determined to drive the 600 kilometer distance from Paris to Bordeaux.

Meanwhile, I was determined to break the trip over two days and stay over in the Loire if I was to have no other say in the matter.

I really don't like driving long distances unless I have to.

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FROM PARIS TO BORDEAUX

The beautiful flowers at the Chateau de Chenoceaux in France


So we rented a nice car that certainly got lots of attention, from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, and then we drove it to Versailles and Paris before heading down the long road to Bordeaux.

Everything was pretty hectic because there was so little time for everything we wanted to do. But in the end, it all worked out very satisfactorily with my expert planning and his expert driving.

I've already written about the charming B&B we'd discovered in the Loire Valley. It was decently priced, very pretty and good enough for one night.

The beautiful flowers at the Chateau de Chenoceaux in France


MY FAVORITE CHATEAU

And the next day, we stopped for a few hours at the Chateau de Chenonceaux, which is one of my favorite chateau in the Loire.

I hadn't been to Chenonceaux in perhaps 18 years -- although I'm sure you understand that whether the gap had been 5 days, 5 years, 5 months or 50 years, it hardly would have mattered as the chateau would still look pretty much the same.

The beautiful flowers at the Chateau de Chenoceaux in France


NICE TO SEE YOU AGAIN

It was nice to see the Chateau de Chenonceaux again.

My last visit here was part of a three-week driving trip around France when I was younger and I had more patience for boring highways.

But I won't bore you with facts about Chateau de Chenonceaux as you can simply google this chateau if you want to know more about it.

The beautiful flowers at the Chateau de Chenoceaux in France


Or if you decide to visit it.

The Loire is full of lovely villages and historical spots, although you should be prepared for a very touristy experience.

We stopped at a local bakery for chocolate croissants and tea, for instance, and there was only one local out of 15 or so visitors in the 30 minutes we were there.


The beautiful flowers at the Chateau de Chenoceaux in France


A UNIQUE CHATEAU

But back to the Chateau de Chenonceaux.

I like it very much because its great hall was built over water, and I believe it's the only chateau of this kind in France.

Interestingly, this great hall straddled a river, too, that once divided Nazi-occupied France and free France.




You can imagine how this chateau played a part in the French resistance movement.

Two strong women also called this home. Diane de Poitiers, who was a mistress of Henri II, and Catherine de Medici.

THE NATURAL STYLE OF FRENCH JOIE DE VIVRE



What I'd like to post on this blog for today, writing this out from a beautiful hotel room in Hong Kong with a great view of the harbor next to me, are the photos I took of the flowers in every room of the Chateau de Chenonceaux.



The French have such a natural and yet artistic way of arranging flowers, using flowers picked from fields and their own gardens.

Their style really brightens up the home and the day. There is almost no artifice in the way they include flowers or even objects of beauty in their everyday lives.

These flowers certainly brightened up the Chateau de Chenonceaux, on the day we visited, on our way to Bordeaux for another chapter in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.




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