Château de Chambord

Chambord Castle is the reason we are staying in this campsite as it’s only a cycle ride away. The riverside view too of course.  I hadn’t realised that château in french translates to castle as I always thought a château was a big mansion with lots of turrets and towers. Who knew or is it just me?!?

Check out our mossie killer machine, it’s really done an amazing job on the midges.

Around 11am we get on our bikes to cycle route 11 which will take us most of the way to Chambord. It’s a mix of cycle paths and some road cycling through villages. Closer to the château it turns into a  lovely shaded track through forest which is welcome as it’s another scorcher.

Our first sight of the château in the distance is impressive even with many of the towers covered in scaffolding. Architecturally it’s unlike anything I’ve seen before.

Eventually we find the cycle park and make our way via the shops and restaurants and through the gardens to the château.

It’s even more interesting up close with its asymmetrical collection of round turrets and towers.

Once inside we spend a couple of hours wandering through its rooms, and four floors, enjoying the stories of its inhabitants and marvelling at the double spiral staircase  and getting lost a lot as it’s so easy to forget which corner of the building we are on.

T and I each travel up on both spirals of the staircase and wave to the each other across the void.

This was originally built as a hunting lodge by King Francis I back in the 16C and there are a lot of animal trophy heads hanging on the walls. Louis XIV was the last king to spend time here, the grandfather of Louis XVI who lost his head in the revolution.

After walking up to the top of the chateau and enjoying the view we leave and find a restaurant for lunch. Sitting outside at 3pm it’s still very hot.

A visit to the gift shop where T chooses a fridge magnet, the sixth and final one of the holiday and have to make do with a bottle of lemonade rather than water for the journey back.

A wander into town for a pint at a bar where we learn that the town has suffered serious flooding in the past. A night outside the van where we play Rummikub again and I finally get even. The score is 11-11. A bit of quizzing too with the crackling of our mossie machine in the background. A lovely day on our french adventure.

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