Vintage France

Vintage France

Chateau de Chambord from the Loire Valley of France...looking a bit vintage in today's post.

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Blue hour in Amboise

Blue hour in Amboise

An evening street scene from the lovely little town of Amboise, France...

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A Visual Tour of Chateau De Chenonceau

A Visual Tour of Chateau De Chenonceau

This may qualify as my longest post ever, at least in terms of the number of photos that it contains.  But, it was worth every minute it took to prepare it for you. Click through to enjoy a visual tour of that most beautiful French Chateau in the Loire Valley - Chateau de Chenonceau.  Then pack your bags - you're likely to want to travel to France asap!

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The incredible Chateau de Chambord

The incredible Chateau de Chambord

How about we step back into history today?  Specifically, 16th century France - does that sound good?  It does to me, so I hope you will come along for the ride.  It's going to be fun, educational, colorful (of course!) and hopefully inspirational too!  Vive le France!  (or something like that)

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Street scenes from Amboise

Street scenes from Amboise

Lonely streets in a small French town, around the blue hour...

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Looking over Chenonceau

Well, back to the Loire Valley of France today - you don't mind, do you?  :-) 

I found the entire Loire Valley to be just strikingly beautiful.  Of course, I am a fan of all the amazing chateaux that I visited.  They all possess such a great combination of interesting architecture and incredible history - it's hard not to like them! 

Chenonceau is probably the most beautiful one there that I saw.  It's hard to pick a fave, but it would probably have to be this one.  The dramatic setting over the river certainly helps!  

Anyways, at some point during my wandering and shooting, I climbed upstairs and stepped out on a little balcony.  It had just rained a bit, and all the tourists scattered like cockroaches when the lights come on, so it was pretty easy to get such a clean shot (although I admit, I removed a couple!). 

Blue hour on the River Loire

There always seems to be a little magic at blue hour, morning or night.  It’s such a special time of day, when everything is quiet and still, noises seem to be at a minimum, and the whole Earth feels like it is resting.  I love those moments.

I was out one evening in Amboise, a small town in the Loire Valley of France, and had been looking for interesting things to aim the camera at, which isn’t really very hard in this area - there’s something beautiful at every turn in France.

Anyways, I started out way across that bridge and behind the Chateau de Amboise which you see in the photo.  After crossing the bridge, I saw that little boat anchored in the swift-moving water, and wanted to take a closer look.  It took a little fence-hopping and trail-maneuvering, but was well worth it.  Interestingly, the boat wasn’t moving back and forth very much at all - must have been anchored pretty well!

It wasn’t long before my quiet revelry was disturbed by 3 little French boys who just wanted to make a new friend.  Sadly, my French language skills are terrible, so I barely understood much of what they said - apart from the constant “take my picture!”.  So I did.

They climbed up on that statue of Leonardo da Vinci and I popped off a quick shot with the flash.  It was fun hanging with them actually, even though I had no idea what they were saying.

Entering Chenonceau

Well it’s been a week or so since I posted a photo from the Loire Valley, so I figured it was about time. :-)

As I have said here before (and I will say it again, just ‘cause I have to), the Loire Valley is fabulous, beautiful, and I think I could live there.  Can you imagine how many photos I would take if I lived near all these awesome chateaux??  I can’t, really.  I just know it would be a LOT.  Like, a whole lot.

This one is from Chateau de Chenonceau, which is normally shot from this view.  And as you can see, that is a great view of it.  It really gives the full perspective, with the graceful arches over the river.  But of course, I like to mix things up so I also took this shot, which is straight-on towards the entrance.  

There had been some light sprinkles of rain and everyone ran inside, which was great for me.  If it wasn’t for all the people on the balcony (look closely), it would be like having it all to myself!  And that’s something I could get used to!  :-)

Chateau de Cheverny

It seems I have shared quite a few shots from my visit to the Loire Valley of France earlier this summer, but this is the first one from Cheverny.  Chateau de Cheverny is a grand estate and I thoroughly enjoyed my visit there, but of course I say that about all these chateaux.  It’s hard not to enjoy stuff like this!

This one reminded me of a fairy-tale in that it seems there is a tiny village that has sprung up around the outside of the estate, complete with shops, restaurants, and a church.  It’s all quaint yet beautiful.  But clearly the chateau itself is the main attraction.

It has been in the same family for over 6 centuries, and has been continuously lived in during all those years.  Despite it being an occupied private home, they do offer tours, which we took.  As you can expect, there are the usual collections of grand, stately rooms adorned in beautiful ways.  It seems like a pretty good way to live, if you ask me.

There is also a museum of sorts dedicated to the old comic strip TinTin.  It seems the chateau itself appeared in one of the early editions of TinTin and they have had some connection ever since.  My daughter is a big fan of that comic, so that added an extra little bit of fun to the visit!

Leonardo's final resting place

Isn’t this an amazing looking place?  I just loved it, but of course I am a huge fan of architecture, and especially stuff like this  It just blows my mind.

As the title of this post implies, this is inside the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci.  He has a burial crypt inside a small chapel which is situated on the grounds of the Chateau de Amboise, in the lovely town of Amboise, which is situated in the Loire Valley of France.  Go there now.  You can thank me later.

Honestly, there was nothing about the entire Loire Valley that disappointed me.  I experienced great weather, incredible sights, rich history and friendly people.  I saw amazing chateaux, a lovely river, and my camera was clicking like crazy.  I ate fabulous food and enjoyed some tasty beverages.  I’m ready to move!

Just think back to the time when Leondardo da Vinci was around, and the sort of impact he had on civilization at the time.  It’s clear this guy was an immense talent and a genius.  How do you honor someone like that?  I can’t imagine.  But I must say that the burial chamber is indescribably beautiful as you can see here.

As you can tell from the photo, I was aiming up for this shot because I wanted to capture all the intricacies in the ceiling.  The detail there is amazing.  Be sure and put the Loire Valley on your bucket list!