We drove down to the Garden of France also known as the Loire Valley for a few days. It is remarkable while it is as enchanting as I expected. The vinyards, flowers, forests, and rolling green hills are laced with gabled houses, charming foot bridges and over 1,000 castles.  The villages date back centuries as the architecture and art is unbelievable.  The Medieval streets dating back to the 10th Century are narrow and often cobblestone.  We were awful with the photography task. There isn’t much in our photo basket in comparison to the many towns we traveled and sites we saw.

Here are the the highlights:

The Castle of Chambord was the first castle we came to. Talk about getting the Chateau tour off to sprinting start. We were blown away. It is in the middle of no where. So, you drive around a curve and there it quietly sits.  One of the odd things about Chambord is that all of the furniture, wall coverings, eating implements and so forth were brought specifically for each hunting trip. Can you imagine this logistical exercise?
 
  Something about this reminds me of the Magic Kingdom.  Do you think this is the model for Cinderellas Castle?

The next big stop:   Blois, France.  

  Our trek led us down the same streets as Joan of Arc.   around the Chateau
 We could not help but admire the finest details in everything.
 We went up stairs like these
 and into Cathederals like this
 Outside of town Brian couldn’t resist buying some wine from Guy Drummon’s Wine Store in a cave. A sign out side read ENGLISH SPOKEN HERE. His english was as good as our French. We could feel his pride from inside the language. Brian is convinced he made the wine himself.
    
 We went to the prim little riverside town of Amboise, France too.  Leonardo da Vinci retired here.

 where Beatrice nibbled on candy
 we saw Gothic steeples
 Our driving tour allowed us to go slow and at our own pace. we had the freedom to stop and smell the flowers and meander as we pleased.
 Yummy!
 YUMMY!

Châteaux of the Loire Valley

Map Via Wikipedia