Friday, April 3, 2009
Chambord & Chartres
After an early start this morning (6 :30 am wake up call !), we drove to Chambord. It is an enormous castle with over 400 rooms and was really impressive despite the lack of furniture. The woods surrounding Chambord for the King’s hunting trips was as large as the city of Paris ! One of the castle’s most interesting features was the double helix staircase where we split our group between the two staircases. There are windows to see the people on the other staircase, but the two never cross paths. The architecture and design of the entire castle were really interesting because they varied in style from Gothic to Renaissance to Classical. We went to the terraces and Lauren (Stoll) noticed that there was a Rolling Stones symbol mowed into the grass. Everyone thought she was crazy (including Audrey, our guide), but it turns out Lauren was right !
Then, we got back on the bus and headed to Chartres. After a light lunch and some shopping, we went to the Cathedral of Chartres. Its two differing spires are a result of several fires destroying parts of the cathedral, causing parts to be rebuilt in different centuries. The main attractions in the Cathedral were of course the stained glass windows. They were enormous, and hearing Audrey explain the process of making these windows let us appreciate them even more.
Later, we got on the bus to go to Sartrouville to go and meet out families. The mood on the bus was somber and anxious. We were all sad to leave Audrey and Patrick (our driver), and everyone was getting nervous to meet their families.