Saturday, 28 April 2012

The rain {sic} of Louis XIV

Day 5 - 26.04.12 Chateau Chambord and Blois - oooops got my order mixed up :-/
Ch√Ęteau Chambord, France

We got up early and left our pretty spot in Orleans to head over to Chateau Chambord, once home to Louis XIV amongst others.  We avoided the paid car park next to the chateau in favour of a cheaper car park further away which meant a 15 minute walk along a path which would perhaps have been pleasant to walk along had it not been raining non-stop for the last day (it has).  We were contemplating spending the night at the aire on site until we learnt it cost 20 euros for just a parking spot with no services apart from a bin…not likely.  Upon arrival we saw the castle cost 9.50 euros to enter unless you were under 25 so after a little stretching of the truth at the counter Ali got in for free.  I’m not sure if I’m more pleased at free entry or the fact that when pushing 28 I can kid someone I’m 24! 

Chateau Chambord, Loire Valley, FranceThe chateau was utterly breath-taking.  Huge, extravagantly decorated rooms and a stunning double helix staircase through the centre.  We climbed all the way up to the top floor for some spectacular views of the river and grounds.  On our walk back down the somewhat muddy path, the skies opened and we once again were reminded why we’d intended to skip France altogether, the weather here SUCKS. 


Our wild camping spot beside the river in Blois
Our plan after the castle was to drive through to Amboise and stop over for the night in an aire I’d seen online.  Our route however took us through Blois, a city too beautiful to drive straight through.  It was exactly what I was hoping the Loire valley would be.  We spotted a long car park on the opposite side of the river and about 10 other campers so we headed over and parked up beside the river.  It’s great how encouraged campervans are here, it makes our life so much easier and the spots we can spend the night are really beautiful.  Blois itself is full of picturesque streets, stunning churches and a huge cathedral.  It’s a bit more touristy than some of the other places we’ve seen so
far but it’s so beautiful you can understand why. 





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