|approach to Chenonceau, no people...|
Last week we had Sarah, my cousin's daughter to stay. Playing tourist with someone who is seeing for the first time what treasures the Loire valley has to offer is always great fun; especially when she is an art history major.
|Sarah looking down the long gallery|
The next day we had to pick up our pintade from Loches market and this gave us an opportunity to show Sarah the Caravaggios we've mentioned before and pay a quick visit to St Ours to see Agnes Sorel's tomb. There was quite a bit of fallen plaster in St Ours, presumably it had been knocked loose by the recent storm, Joachim.
|Sarah, Niall and a christmas tree!|
Having got our pintade we drove up to Chenonceau for the main visit for the day. Again it was really quiet. A place like Chenonceau will always have visitors, no matter what day of the year but there were only about 20 cars in the parking lot and not a tourist bus to be seen. In Chenonceau terms that is empty!
It meant that we were able to enjoy the full impact of the allée of plane trees leading up to the chateau.
|Catherine de Medici|
|real log fire in the five queens' bedroom|
It was interesting to re-visit the unusual black painted 'mourning room' of Louise de Lorraine wife of the assinated Henry III although we weren't quite convinced by the white christmas tree with black decorations.
Soon after we entered a bus load of tourists did come pouring in armed to the teeth with camcorders but they were obviously on a tight schedule as they went from room to room at a rapid pace and soon disappeared over the horizon. We took our time and enjoyed the christmas decorations as much as the chateau.
That was a wonderful tour!
I used to wish friends would come over in winter to be able to get the most of visiting 'tourist' sites.
Have you visited Oiron?
Personally, the things I head straight for are the portrait medallions. If you want to get an accurate image of the historical characters, it is the medallions that provide it, not the idealised portraits. It's such a shame there isn't one of Gabrielle d'Estrees.
@Fly - no we haven't. Just looked at where it is and it's not too far for us to go and have a look.
@Susan - it is a pity that Gabrielle is missing. I like the irony of Catherine ostentatiously re doing the chimney brest in Diane's bedroom and her portrait looming over the room.
Sounds like the perfect tourist day to me... Sigh ... I loved Chenonceau and would love to visit it when its not early September -- which was still better than August. You sound to me like the perfect hosts! Happy New Year!
@Broad - it was :-) We had a very easy to please guest!
Happy New Year to you too! All good things for 2012!
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