Thursday, 4 October 2012

Chaumont sur Loire

Another beautiful day in the Loire Valley. We hopped on our bikes to go to Chaumont sur Loire.


It was a nice 20 km bike ride from Blois, mostly on farm roads and forest trails along the Loire River. Pretty much everywhere we rode we heard shotguns and saw hunters with their dogs, flushing birds out of low brush and dead cornfields. They love to hunt in France.

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Chaumont was a smaller Chateau, but it had such a classic fairy-tale castle look about it, perched on a hill, overlooking the Loire. We had heard that they do some fantastic modern art installations on their grounds and the International Garden Festival there was not to be missed.


I love the odd histories of places like this. Catherine de Medici owned the castle, and she entertained her favorite astrologer Nostradamus here before giving the place to her husband's mistress. How kind of her.

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The servant's quarters upstairs was unrestored and filled with a modern stained-glass exhibit, and you can really see the amount of work involved with keeping a huge old building kept up.

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I did sneak a little knitting in...


On such a nice day, I wanted to spend some time in the garden and see all the fun modern art they had set up.

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In an old barn: a sea creature diorama, made with stuff you would find in an old barn.

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It reminded me of some of the large-scale stuff they do on Governor's Island every summer.


Creepy crochet people in the woods....

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No flat tires, no missed trains. Good food, good wine. Pretty much as easy as a weekend trip can be.

I'm pretty much in love with the idea of doing the entire Loire à Vélo now. Or, erm, maybe realistically just a chunk of it. Any takers?

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