Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Loire Valley and des Chateaux

This weekend we got to go to the Loire Valley to see some Chateaux with our entire study abroad group. We first went to Chateau de Blois. It was a very boring tour, but Blois itself was a cute little town!
Spiral Staircase Chateau de Blois

Me, Park and Bri overlooking Blois

Queen Katherine and her loyal man-slave Sean


Blois again

Gardens in Blois

After leaving Blois, we travelled to the Chateau de Chenonceau, about 45 minutes away. This chateau was MUCH more exciting than the first one, and each room had BEAUTIFUL flower arrangements. It was home to Catherine de Medici at one time, which is pretty interesting. We have a couple of fraternity gentlemen (Park & Asa) on our trip and they have been making "frat" jokes the entire time. It's hilarious, but the best one so far is when they call the "chateau" a "Frateau". I guess it is true that our sorority and fraternity houses are like Southern "Chateaux" in the states. 

Chateau de Chenonceau

Gardens of Chenonceau

Bridge of Chenonceau

Beautiful flower arrangements

Park showing us the view from the 'frateau' de SAE
After the Chateaux of the day, we got a "surprise" which was (drumroll, please).... WINE TASTING!!!! We went to a local winery and learned how they made the wines and then got to try quite a few. Not only did we taste White, Rose, Red and Sparkling wine, we also got to try three different types of local goat cheese. I normally am not a huge fan of goat cheese, but this stuff was just about the best cheese I've ever tasted! I ate more cheese & bread than I drank wine! 

The group touring the winery

A True Wine & Cheese Party
After the wine & cheese tasting, we went to the Chateau de Razay (remember this Mom & Dad, this is where I'm getting married) which is a beautiful farm chateau in the Loire region. The owners have SO many animals, here's a list of a few: llamas, emu, pigs, horses, bison, deer, golden retrievers, and geese. They used to own a white peacock, but it passed away earlier this summer. Sadly my photo uploader is not reading some of the pictures from this part of the trip, so I will try again tomorrow to upload them and finish our tour of the Loire valley.

Trust me-- the last chateau we saw deserves its own private post.

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