The Oregon group traveled to the Loire valley the weekend of October 18th and 19th. It was wonderful to visit some of the beautiful sites outside of Poitiers. Our visit started at the estate of Marc Brédif-a Vouvray cellar none-the-less. Oh, how I love the Vouve.
Here I am wine tasting with Aerika and Liz in the cellar.
I really wanted to sneak one of these 1874 bottles into my purse, but then I thought better of it:
After Marc Brédif, we arrived at the town of Amboise.
Charming, no? After having a pastry or two in town, and taking a look at the cathedral, we then took a tour of the royal lodgings. Charles VIII was born here, and lived here with his queen. Here is the royal bedroom:
The royal drainage system (I love this!):
The royal chapel:
The royal view:
After Amboise, we drove to the place we were staying for the night, a sort of hostel catering specifically to groups like ours. This is what we saw when we woke up the next morning. Beautiful.
Amboise was wonderful, but I thought Chenonceau was spectacular. (Try to imagine it without the scaffolding).
Here is the room of Diane de Poitiers, the mistress of King Henri II, to whom he gave Chenonceau.
Catherine de Medici's bedroom:
The Gallery. During World War I, the owner of Chenonceau installed a hospital in the gallery at his own expense. During the course of the war, the hospital cared for 2254 wounded soldiers. During World War II, the gallery provided a convenient door into the Free Zone, while Chenonceau's entrance was in the occupied zone.
The gallery is built over a bridge. Here is the view of the Loire river from inside the gallery.
The chamber of Louise de Lorraine is one of the more interesting rooms in the castle. After her husband, King Henri III was assasinated in 1589, Louise went to Chenonceau for prayer and meditation. She was called "the White Queen" because she always wore white in compliance with royal mourning etiquette. Her room is decorated with mourning symbols.
The living room of Louis XIV, named so in memory of the visit he made to Chenonceau in 1650.
Our last stop before heading back to Poitiers was the town of Loches. We took a tour of the donjon, a sort of military fortress and prison complete with a torture chamber.
We then spent some time exploring the town. I particularly liked these strange figures carved into a pillar in the Loches cathedral.
Then, we headed home. Quite a wonderful weekend.