Friday, August 19, 2011

France day 15: Chenon-so sunny

 This Monday was Assomption, a religious and public holiday in France. Which means. . . No school! The original plan was to bike to a castle 30km away with JG, but as she had unfortunately fallen sick (and on her birthday :( ). I went to two other friends the lazy way, by train.

We've had terrible weather every weekend here but finally it was nice today (probably because it was technically a week day) and it really makes a difference. Every thing is just more enjoyable in the sun.

Better in the sun

Chenonceau is a château that stands out because it's built almost across the river Cher. It actually wasn't planned like that and started as a small castle on one side of the river bank. 

Before you see the castle you need to walk through this dream-like path
When Catherine de Médicis obtained owner ship of the area, she wanted a bridge to be built so she could travel to the other side of her property, so the bridge was built. Eventually, whichever queen became the owner of the castle needed a place for her many domestic staff to live so construction on the bridge began. The sum of what was built is what is today, the Château de Chenonceau.

Don''t mind the renovations

Out in-and-out privileges pass
After another wonderful lunch finished with THREE crepes (Mme. Narbonne made me do it), K, B and I headed to the chateau. It was obviously very crowded inside (as are many of France's tourist attractions) and we didn't spend much time inside. Apparently we actually missed the entire second floor of the castle (whoops).

My favourite part of the castle was the basement kitchen where there were separate rooms for the pantry, the butchery, baking and also a dining room for the culinary staff. I would have like to stay longer but it was just way too warm and crowded down there. The in-wall bread oven was really cute though.

Main cooking area

I see crepe poiles

Medieval fancy muffin tin?
We spent the rest of the time checking out the surrounding gardens, eating desserts and soaking up the sun while watching boaters in the moat.

Tourist eats

Pistachio and nougat

Wedding spotting!

More tourist eats
On our way out we realised that there was a hedge maze on the property as requested by Catherine de Médicis back in the day. I'm sure I would have loved it if I was a little kid. It was still pretty fun.

At home the most delicious grilled panini sandwiches awaited me.

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