Sunday, 18 May 2008

Chenonceau

Sophie and I spent the morning visiting Chenonceau

The château of Chenonceau is built over the river Cher, and was within walking distance from where we stayed. On Thursday this was our destination, but we were not all up bright and early to visit. We decided to let the sleeping beauty stay in bed, as Bonnie needed some extra rest to avoid any bad humour that might arise if she were too tired. Roger stayed with the three younger kids, while Sophie and I had our breakfast and walked down the road to the chateau, intending to avoid the crowds by arriving close to opening time.
Well, how many tourist buses and motorhomes do you think were in the parking area when we arrived??? This was by far the most crowded château. The rooms were packed like the OBH on a Sunday evening on a long weekend in summer. Or like Carrefour the Saturday before Christmas. We invested in an iPod audioguide and braved the crowds to learn a bit of the history of the château and its occupants before heading outside. And indeed outside was a very pleasant place to be. The grounds were magnificent, and I decided I would need not only a full-time gardener but a team of florists too. The bouquets throughout the chateau were beautiful, and huge, and all provided by the gardens at Chenonceau.
Apart from the formal decorative gardens we were able to see the kitchen gardens (reminded me of my sister Fiona's garden) and the flower beds. Then a stroll in the woods rounded off our visit.

In the afternoon we swapped and Roger took Bonnie and Odette to visit the château while Sophie and I stayed at the gîte with Hugh. We were able to compare notes afterwards, and we all agreed that the playgrounds at the châteaux are far better than any we have seen so far in France. And can we have one just like that at home, please?

Just like Fiona's garden...

1 comment:

La Vie Échangée said...

We loved the Loire Valley! You guys are a long way from "home"--way to get out there and see the country.