lundi 25 février 2008

Loire Valley trip

I headed up to the Loire Valley this weekend to enjoy the warm weather and admire chateaux. B and I rented a car and headed up Friday night, staying in Tours at this place, which was pretty nice. We arrived late Friday and had a great Lebanese meal along the petite rue Colbert.

On Saturday we drove through the exceedingly cute town of Amboise, which is known for its impressive chateau and also being the town that Leonardo da Vinci lived in during the last years of his life. Here is part of the chateau. My guidebook informed us that king Charles VIII grew up here, and later died here, in 1498, after hitting his head on a low lintel on his way to a jeu de paume game. His unfortunate 22 year old bride, Anne de Bretagne, was then forced by contract to marry the next king of France, Louis XII. I was feeling happy to be independently employed.We then cruised through the countryside, where there were various hunters standing around holding rifles, waiting for a sanglier (wild boar) to show up.

We then headed over to the Chateau de Chenonceau. It was just disgustingly gorgeous and had huge, elaborate gardens and was surrounded by woods. It is apparently the former home of one of Henri II's mistresses, among others.Chenonceau sits in the middle of a river. The gardens were pretty amazing. We then walked around the town of Loches, which is the former home of Agnes Sorel and was one of the spots that Joan of Arc stopped to drum up support.

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