I'm back! We did a quick trip to Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands. We had no internet so my final blog post on the tour of the chateaux of the Loire Valley was delayed.
We started day two with a stop in a town with cave dwellings. I think this must be a more popular visit in the summer time as it was really quiet the morning we walked around. The dwellings looked tiny but some were cute. I read most are just one room with cool temperatures year round. Great for wine storage. Christelle will have to help me with the name of the this town...as there are several towns throughout France with cave dwellings. A fun note...these are called troglodyte dwellings which for me congers up images of a dwarf population...too many viewings of the, "Lord of the Rings," trilogy.
Then we were on to the one and only chateau visit for the day, Blois.
A lovely dramatic entrance. This is Louis the XII. The chateau underwent different phases of construction. One of the earliest phases is marked on the exterior by the red brick mixed with the white stone.
I believe this was a queen's chamber.
Every fireplace had a huge royal emblem. Many French monarchs lived in Blois and left their "mark." This is the monogram of Henry II.
Another royal bedroom, this one belonged to a king. There is a big "H" in the tile floor for Henry III.
The white stone exterior was introduced by Louis XII.
The porcupine became the symbol of Louis XII when his father, Louis the XI created the order of the knights of the porcupine for his son on his baptism. There is always some bad blood among the royal court and the porcupine's quills are pointing in every direction at the family's enemies.
There was a familiar feature added to the chateau by Francois I...an exterior spiral staircase...very much like the hunting lodge, Chateau Chambord.
This chateau has many furnished rooms. Some of the interiors reflect later time periods...some as late as the 19th century.
One of the wings hosts an art gallery with several small rooms off this hallway.
We had lunch in the adjoining town which crowds right up to the base of the chateau.
And our grand chateau tour came to an end all too soon.
I am leaving tomorrow to meet up with the French Quilting Contingent. We rendezvous in Atlanta and will go on a road trip to Paducah. I will try to share our adventure!