Sunday, March 20, 2011

Loire Valley Castles and Le Mont-Saint-Michel

To round out my day-tripping from Paris, I took tours of 4 castles in the Loire Valley, and went to Mont-Saint-Michel, an abbey from the middle ages in Normandy.

For the Loire Valley tour, I started at Azay-le-Rideau, said to be "the most graceful" castle of them all.

Later that morning, we drove to Villandry, the castle that has the best gardens of them all. My personal favorite part was the garden that is associated with different types of love: tender, passionate, fickle, and tragic.

After lunch in Tours, we went to Chambord, the castle built as a hunting lodge by Francois the first.

We ended the day with Chenonceau, which is laid out over a tributary of the Loire River.

It was a really long day, but I'm glad that I got to see some of them before leaving Paris.

On Thursday, I took the train to Mont-Saint-Michel to see the abbey from the middle ages. It was really interesting, but the weather was terrible- and I was totally unprepared, due to nice days in the Loire and Reims the previous days.

The abbey was really beautiful, but the weather made it an exhausting day. I was glad to come back to Paris later that evening.

From Paris I took the train to Nice, where I'll spend the rest of my time here. It's absolutely beautiful, but I'll post more about Nice/Monaco later.

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