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Cycling the Loire Valley – More Chateaus   Leave a comment

[This is part 6 of my story and pictures of a cycling journey years ago in the Loire Valley and Normandy. The story started here]

On our second day in the Loire valley we left out camp at Amboise on the Loire River and cycled south to the Cher, one of the smaller rivers that flows into the Loire. There, on the Cher we found the magnificent Chateau de Chenonceau.

The Approach to Chenonceau

A Garden on the grounds of Chateau de Chenonceau

Chateau de Chenonceau over the River Cher

While the Chateaus were certainly architecturally amazing, historic and the reason we were in France, I still found plenty of things of interest along the way between castles.

Sharing the Road

Cobbled Street in a French Town

On the L’Indre river we visited the Chateau d’Azay-le-Rideau [map] , a fairy tale style castle:

Chateau d'Azay-le-Rideau

The next chateau in the Loire valley that we visited was another that was again not on the Loire itself but 10 kilometers away on another of it’s nearby tributaries, the Vienne. This was the site of the massive Chateau de Chinon [map]. It was from this location that Joan of Arc gathered her forces back in 1429 (so much history!)

Dear in the Moat at the Chinon Chateau

This was mid-may that we were cycling through the region, so spring showers were to be expected. We experienced a light rain on occasion and ran into at least one good afternoon thundershower(but these memories pale against the marvelous thing we saw.

Our Bikes Sheltered from Some Rain (while we visited another chateau)

Not all of the chateaus that we visit were restored, museums. some were delightfully in a state of partial ruin which really served to hammer home just how old they were:

Cracks and Crumbling in the wall of an old French Chateau

Old Stone Steps

These few days in the Loire valley were a lot of fun and I have given only a briefest description of our experience but hopefully you get the idea. Next we would soon be making our way north to the Normandy coast – stay tuned for more photos and stories.