Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Chambord

Chambord

Built by Francios I as a hunting lodge, Chambord is huge.  The building was never used as a home, so was never furnished.  All the trappings of royalty were packed in when they arrived and packed out when they left.  For this visit, we arrived late afternoon, for the quality of the light on the building.  We had planned to go inside, but soon realized it would be closing at 6pm, unlike most of the other chateaux, which are opened until 8pm.  We should have checked on the website.  Bill wanted to take pictures from the terraces on the top, but it didn't happen this visit.  I did miss seeing Leonardo da Vinci's double helix staircase; such a wonder of design and engineering.

The terrace runs along the top; the view is wonderful.

The chateau has water on three sides.  It wasn't build as a defensive feature, but to be enjoyed by the guests of the King.   Today, visitors may rent small motor boats and canoes, to float around the chateau.  On a hot day, such as this, it would certainly beat walking.

The bridge over the water feature.  You can tell there wasn't a bit of a breeze.

Motor boats for rent.
The old buildings around the chateau are filled with restaurants and tourists shops.  The shade of trees and umbrellas are wonderful to sit under while enjoying a meal or, like us, a sorbet.

Ice Cream anyone?

Linden trees pruned to provide wonderful shade.

There are bicycle and 4 person peddle bikes for rent.  We saw an Italian family, sons peddling, Mom and daughter riding, with a defective bike.  They couldn't give it enough push to get up the rise to the road. Finally, amid much laughter, Bill and two other men came to their rescue, helping to push the bike onto the flatter main road.   Watching as they tried to continue, Bill decided the steering wasn't working.  As we walked by the rental place, he told one of the employees, who promptly went to the bridge to fix the problem.  We later saw the family happily continuing their tour around Chambord.

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