Monday: the scenic route (a.k.a.-avoiding tolls)
We came across hundreds of piles of these mysterious root vegetable on the "scenic route". What could it be? First we thought potatoes, then maybe parsnips, then it was celery root...
Until we saw large piles of them in front of this factory
In front of this sugar factory. The mysterious piles on the main [non-toll] route from Metz to Paris are sugar beets.
We arrived that night in Blois (pronounced: bla) and came across this majestic beauty while on a "night" walk (since dark comes at 5:00 already, not that I'm complaining Alaskerella!).
Tuesday: the Loire Valley
On Tuesday morning we walked around Blois in amazement at the trees that were probably there before the Revolution.
Then we went to check out this hunting lodge. No, really. Château de Chambord was built as a hunting lodge by François I.
And because it was made as a temporary royal residence, everything was collapsible
The roof even looked like it's own city.
Dad and his baguettes, he just couldn't get enough.
That night we walked around the picturesque town of Amboise and at dinner at the delicious L'Alliance.
Wednesday: we woke up
To these outside our B&B window. The chickens made all kinds of noise when our host, Alex went out to swipe eggs for our breakfast.
On to another Château with a tree lined drive. Excuse me while I suppress my wishful thinking...
Interesting Fact #1: This one (Château du Chenonceau) made history when in 1547, it was given by Henry II to his mistress, Diane de Poitiers. At Henry's death, his wife, Catherine de' Medici reclaimed Chenonceau and forced Diane to move on to a lesser Château. (I love that story)
Interesting Fact #2: During the Revolution, while the revolutionaries were destroying all that related to power and religion, the owners filled the chapel with firewood, tricking the revolutionaries into believing that the room was just storage.
We got to see the kitchen in this Château and being a cooking family, we were all intrigued and perhaps imagining taking some things home.
For example: Michael wanted to take this hand-cranked rotisserie (a form of punishment for our future children?) but instead, had me take many, many pictures so he can one day replicate it.
I wanted to take home the stove but didn't think it would fit in the Twingo.
Did I mention that this Château was built over the river?
I think I also forgot to mention the labyrinth
Where you can pick escargot.
After another yummy picnic lunch we went to the Marc Brédif wine caves to sample the wine and walk though part of the 2km long storage caves.
For dinner that night we went to the beautiful town of Loche. While working up (walking up) an appetite we came across the Château de Loches, particularly it's defensive buildings.
After dinner we headed back to the B&B (here's our room, by the way) for a rousing game of hearts and a good night's sleep.
We played with the resident donkey before packing up and
Taking the Twingo to Versailles,
Which was oddly filled with Japanese art (but still beautiful).
Postcard reads: "Greetings from Versailles!"