We wrapped our time in Paris as we lugged down our luggage to the lobby, but our journey through France had only begun. Our ride towards the Loire Valley was about four hours, but the time wasn’t passed by a series of naps. Rowdy sessions of karaoke, stories, and jokes filled the time and kept us amused as the countryside passed by us in blurs. Eventually, we arrived near the Chambord Castle around lunchtime. There we flocked out of the bus and ran towards the quaint, little cafÃ© near the castle. While some of us ordered the specials off the menu, some adventurous people decided to dine on some snails. It was such an interesting experience because there we were lucky enough to get some entertainment from a little show at the adjacent Museum of Magic while we ate. The atmosphere of the little village was very calm and genuinely rural. The Chambord Castle is one of Loire’s biggest castles, ands is even considered to be the Versailles of the 16th century. With 440 rooms, 365 chimneys, and a 32 km wall we can see why it’s so grand. The castle was built in the Renaissance style under the reign of King Francois I. He ordered it to be built so he could be closer to his mistress, Claude Rohan. Most of us chose not to go inside the castle because we had a more ostentatious chÃ¢teau (castle in French) in mind.
After another long series of fun and games in the tour bus we arrived at our next destination, the Amboise Castle. We knew the castle would be too large to explore on foot so we simply admired it by walking around its perimeter. Some adventurous travelers such as Mr. Kane’s family rented boats so they could sail around the castle’s moat and bikes were also available. Nevertheless, we were given enough free time to take a stroll around the scenic areas of the castle. The weather was inviting and it was a great opportunity to run around and stretch at the castle’s meadow. The Amboise castle was a royal palace in the 15th and 16th century, but it did not regain the favor of the royal family by the 17th century. Nevertheless, Charles VII and Charles VIII both stayed in this castle and Leonardo da Vinci was a frequent household guest when Francois I lived there. An armored tank built by Leonardo da Vince still stands there today. Although it would have been nice to live at the castle, we still had one more castle to visit.
We ended our tour of castles with the Chenonceau Castle. It is considered the most romantic out of all the Loire chÃ¢teaux because it was used to house the King’s mistress Diane de Porter, before Queen Catherine ousted her. This time, we were able to roam around inside the castle. Just like Versailles, the Chenonceau had many colorful rooms, which include a chapel, an array of bedrooms, and an astounding garden. Of course, the castle was not as large as Versailles so we easily finished the inside tour in time for a nice dinner. Our day of castles and the royal family came to an end.