We took a day trip from Paris to visit the Loire Valley via the TGV. We were stunned by the knot gardens at The Chateau de Villandry. It is amazing!
During our trip to Paris in 2003, we decided to take a day trip to Tours, France where we were scheduled to meet at the (get this) Office of Tourism to meet the tour group (I’ve got a million of ‘em) for our tour (told ya!) of the Chateaus and Castles of the Loire Valley.
One of the major tenets that I ascribe to is “If you’re going to travel in a metal contraption with recirculated, stale air for over 8 hours, make it count!” Therefore, we try to include day trips in our travels as a way of stretching our dollar as far as it will go.READ MORE
This picture was taken at the Chateau Amboise in the Loire Valley. During our stay in Paris, we decided to take the TGV to the French country side for a day trip. My philosophy is if you’re going to travel that far, you’d better make it worth your while.
It was our first train ride ever and it was nice to just sit back and familiarize ourselves with the curiously lush fields as the train whistled by on that cold day in March.
We marveled at the now barren wine vineyards as we imagined them brimming over with gigantic grape clusters slowly ripening on the vine. The roads were mostly deserted, so our view of the landscape wasn’t impeded.
Once we arrived, we simply walked across the street to the Tours visitor’s center to meet up with our guide who would soon be ushering us throughout the valley to take a step back in history.
I took this shot because it was something serene and peaceful about the moat and the farm houses beyond it. Sometimes, I imagine how life must have been so long ago, then I think about how someone many centuries beyond will stand in the same spot wondering about how things must have been for us.
Have you ever wanted to visit a romantic, centuries-old castle in France? There’s something very ethereal about taking a walk back in time when life was both simpler and yet more difficult than today. In an age of technology where instant communication can be commanded at the tip of one’s fingertip, it’s a curious notion to suddenly find yourself transported to a period where the most advanced invention is crudely archaic by today’s standards.
Yet, so many things from those times stand to this day. There are a true appreciation and a dedication to the preservation of historical structures in Europe in particular and the Loire Valley specifically. A visit to central France provides numerous opportunities to experience the Gothic and Renaissance architectural monuments and historical significance of chateaus or castles.
Imagine. You are walking down the path to history where royal knights once traversed along these ancient cobblestones to reunite with their beloved as they announced victory over their enemies. Parading down the throughway across the moat, you can see the resplendent palace of Kings and Queens of times past dominating the landscape.
As you stroll past the prominent coat of arms in the entrance way as you enter their lavish manor, you can almost feel their presence lingering. You are drawn into the cavernous quarters sheltered by kaleidoscopic frescoes framed by a massive stone fireplace between two mammoth floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows that reveal a breath-taking view of the rolling, emerald green countryside.READ MORE