Friday, June 6, 2014

Rain, Castles and Google Maps

We arouse early to get to the Chateau Royal before the tours arrived. Buses with old folks and young folks all about us. Arriving about 30 minutes after opening and it being a 90% chance of rain, we found ourselves pretty much alone, except for the lawn guys and the ladies at the ticket counter. The wind whipping around us, we had a gorgeous view of the Loire.
Me, wearing Tammy's raincoat. Thanks, it was indispensable!
High atop the city Amboise
The biggest draw of the Castle de la Loire, was the grave of Leonardo. According to the books, his grave was uncovered many years ago from an unmarked grave during renovation and moved to the
chapel on the grounds of the castle.

We wandered around, marveling at the immaculate grounds and the general state of the buildings. It is said that there are 4.5 kilometers of tunnels under the castle for all the workers that took care of the Royal Court. But Castle de la Loire is not what I was drawn to Amboise for, it was for Chenonceau, located on the Cher River.

Built right over the Cher River.
Now, in the few days I have been in the Loire Valley, I have learned that one can go broke seeing castles. You can't swing a cat without hitting a castle or a chateau, they are frickin' everywhere. As we had already given our moolah for the day to the Castle, I just wanted to look at Chenonneau and maybe walk around the gardens. Maybe drink a noisette in the town. But there was no way to get past the gates. Thus my delightful Monkey Man got us on Maps a la google and we plotted a series of small dirt roads that looked as though they followed the edge of the river, on the far side of the castle.

Dirt path leading to the far side of Chenonneau. Raining like crazy.
Sure enough, thru the magic of our google overlords, we found a great path right up to the castle. We hid under an ancient stone archway during the worst of the rain. That didn't bother me none, because a lovely bottle of Cheverny White was waiting for us at our gite.

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