Thursday, April 2, 2009
Castles in the Loire Valley
Today, in the morning, we went to the castle of Chenonceau, which was beautifully decorated. Each of the bedrooms displayed pictures of Christ, or the people that lived there. In the kitchens, the bronze pots were hung up on the walls with different sizes of bowls and pans. Stuffed deer and boars heads were in several rooms looking down at the visitors with open mouths and blank expressions. The river Cher flows under the Castle of Chenonceau, so most of its windows displayed a picturesque view of the running water and the outdoor gardens, not yet in bloom with the changing season.
Lunch was in Amboise, with its massive castle. Although I did not visit the Cathedral where Di Vinci is thought to be burried, my group stopped by a local bakery with the best chocolate ever. I bought a small piece of dark chocolate cake which tasted like rich chocolate mousse and melted in my mouth.
After lunch, we journeyed to the medieval castle of Loche, which is built in stone and was later turned into a jail. We learned about torture methods and I felt a bit uncomfortable since the methods were so cruel and the rooms were dark and gloomy.
Later, when we returned to Tours, Audrey made us walk all around the narrow streets of the old town. Finally, we turned at a corner, ad there it was : the Cathedral of Saint Martin. It was breath-taking. The Cathedral was sculpted in a lacey gothic style, protected by gargoyls and stretched its tall towers to the heavens. It was the most beautiful place to end the day’s tour.