Travel Diary, Chasing chateaux, Loire Valley, France, travel blog
Travel Diary Day 4: Chasing chateaux in the Loire Valley in France. Photo: Mark Alexander

The plan for today is simple: visit two of the chateaux in the Loire Valley I had always wanted to visit – Château de Cheverny and Château de Chenonceau. Just that and it doesn’t involve too much driving either. Google maps tells me that it’s a 60miles return journey which takes a couple of hours. Easy.

MORE: Le Manoir Saint Thomas in Amboise

Given the excitement about finding a hotel last night (see yesterday’s road trip diary), I feel rested and ready for today. Even though it looks a bit overcast, it’s still warm enough to wear something light. I am definitely staying away from the thick jumpers and long sleeves, especially when there is quite a bit of walking and exploring on the agenda. A grey T-Shirt and the new grey trousers should be just right for today.

Chasing chateaux in the Loire Valley

The theme of this road trip is French Chateaux and places which are new to me. Even though France is a favourite destination of mine, the Loire Valley is a bit of a mystery. In fact, I don’t think I have visited any of its thousand chateaux. Time to put this right, don’t you think?

My first stop – Château de Cheverny is a bit of a compromise due to the last minute hotel change. Not sure what to expect but excited to go and see it nevertheless.

MORE: Greed left me red-faced at Château de Cheverny

As you can see from the above link to the article about my visit to Château de Cheverny, I had a bit of an accident there. It turns out that the French version of cheesecake involves a rock-hard solid biscuit base. The topping is light and fluffy but you can’t eat it the way you normally eat a cheesecake. You have to break the biscuit base into a bite-size chunk and that, in my case, resulted in flying bits of said dessert all over the place. So, I ended up wearing it in the form of red patches of raspberry coulis on private parts of my trousers. Lovely!

It was hilarious but it didn’t spoil my visit and the rest of the day. Once upon a time, I would have been very embarrassed about it and gone back to the hotel to change but not now. It was a comedy moment and it added to my experience.

Next stop was Château de Chenonceau and WOW! What a place. I’ve looked at so many pictures of it but seeing it for the first time was a true WOW moment.

MORE: Before the heavens opened at Château de Chenonceau

If you are in the Loire Valley or plan a visit there, you absolutely must go and visit Château de Chenonceau. Go later in the afternoon to avoid most of the crowds.

Today was truly amazing and I am still “buzzing” from my visit to Château de Chenonceau and learning about its history. Now back at Le Manor Saint Thomas and looking to book a hotel in Brantôme for the next leg of my journey.

My supper is here – two portions of croque monsieur and a cold beer. I leave you with a Google Map of today’s journey, chasing chateaux in the Loire Valley.


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