VALLE DEL LOIRA
Los Castillos del Valle del Loira / Castles of Valley of Loire
3 AGOSTO 2015 - AMBOISE Y BLOIS - 3rd AUGUST 2015 - AMBOISE AND BLOIS
- The Loire Valley, 7 hours away from where I live and two hours of Paris, offers France´s greatest array of Château experiences. Our side of the road was fine, but the other side was really loaded. We are in August!.
El Valle de Loira está cubierta de campos muy fértiles, ríos a montones y rodeada de muchísimos castillos de todas las formas y colores. ¿Y esto por qué sucede aquí?...pues muy sencillo, porque el Valle fué una zona estrategicamente muy importante durante la guerra de los 100 años. Más tarde, durante el Renacimiento, los castillos, antes fortalezas auténticas, se decoraron a la moda y se convirtieron en lugares de placer y descanso para la nobleza Parisina que se trasladaba desde la capital al Valle de Loira para pasar sus periodos de vacaciones. Nuestra primera parada camino de Blois será nuestro primer castillo. El Castillo de Clos Lucé en Amboise
- The Loire Valley is carpeted with fertile fields, crisscrossed by rivers, and studded with hundreds of châteaux in all shapes and sizes. Medieval castles are here beause the Loire was strategically important during the Hundred Years´war. During the Renaissance, fortified castles were replaced by pleasure palaces as the Loire became fashionable among the Parisian rich and royal. Our first stop on our way to Blois was the Château du Clos Lucé in Amboise.
- The childhood home of Charles VIII and the final resting place of the great Leonardo da Vinci, elegant Amboise is gorgeously arrayed on the southern bank of the Loire and overlooked by its century château. With some seriously posh hotels and a wonderful weekend market, Amboise has become a very popular place, first because the artist lived for three years in the château and because it has become a base for exploring nearby castles. I was surprised to see many interesting boutiques too. It´s very hot when we arrived in Amboise, and this makes me grumpy.
Aparcamos en el centro y nos fuímos andando hasta el Castillo de Clos-Lucé. El pueblo es muy tranquilo la verdad.
- We parked in the centre of the village and went walking to the Château du Clos-Lucé. The village is very quiet really.
- This walk seemed to be longer because of the heat, but we were on holiday!
- The Château du Clos Lucé is a small castle. King Francis I invited Leonardo to his castle in December of 1515. It is believed that he completed his work on the Mona Lisa inside this Château in the same year he died. Da Vinci lived here from 1516 until 1919, when Leonardo died. More info in here
- Clos-Lucé, once a mansion of extraordinary beauty, is now a museum.
- I was trying to find out a hidden story about this castle, but the only thing about King Francis I found in here was that he fell madly in love with the Mona Lisa portrait. It was adquired by him and it´s now property of the French Republic. Leonardo´s presence is in every corner of the Château.
- In the basement, in the model room we met Leonardo the engineer. The 4 rooms in the basement are devoted to Leonardo´s inventions. Forty fabulous machines, five centuries ahead of their time, are exhibited. These models were produced by IBM from Leonardo da Vinci´s original drawings, using materials of the period. In the picture above, the first tank. My dad would have loved this exhibition. Leonardo already then thought about bearings and gears. Amazing!
- Outside the Château, an awesome gardens that need a map to be visited. The first thing we saw was the vegetable garden. The soil was really dry but we heard this area of France is suffering from a terrible drought.
- Now, Leonardo´s Garden. The garden focuses on the master´s contributions to botany and nature studies. You may not know that Leonardo was the first to link plant´s growth with the sun and the geological timeframe for the creation of the planet. These contribution´s are perhaps less known. In the gardens, you will discover his drawings of various plants and flowers.......It´s impossible to see it all!.
- We crossed the big double spanned oak bridge, designed by Leonardo with its innovative triangulation structure used widely today. We walked in the shade of the big trees in this cool natural area with its springs coming from the rocks. He was a rigorous observer of nature when botany was not yet a science. Painter, definitely, botanist too but also philosopher (and more), he was ultimately seeking the essence of life, with enormous respect for the living.
- We headed towards Blois and in 15 min we are in the hotel. After a quick shower we left to have a walk because we´ve been all day in the car. It´s really hot in here, I thought it was going to be cooler.
- Blois cultivates gentleness and quality of life, economic dynamism and university life, together with a rich variety of culture Glorying in an outstanding natural and architectural environment along the banks of the Loire, the city of Blois is split by the river, setting it right in the heart of the area that has boasted the Unesco World Heritage
De las escaleras de este viaje escribiré en otro momento.
- About all the stairs climbing in this tour I´m going to write in another post.
Nos vamos a visitar la Catedral de San Luis, hoy no nos da para mucho mas.
- We went to visit Saint Louis Cathedral, we don´t have time to do anything else today.
- Situated next to the city centre was built in the 17th century. Its style is Gothic.
Es curioso pero no hay mucha gente por el centro. Creo que esta ciudad no está tan llena. Para cenar, una ensalada y unos caracoles en cocotte que estaban de muerte.
- This is funny, but there are not many people in Blois. This is empty or I think everybody is sunbathing. For dinner, we had a salad and escargots en cocotte, yum!.
La gastronomía de Blois, combina la riqueza del patrimonio histórico y natural que rodea la ciudad. Abundan los productos locales dependiendo de la estación: tiernos espárragos, faisanes, setas salvajes, bizcochos con pasas y quesitos de cabra caseros. Blois cuenta además con mas de 70 viticultores. Los buenos vinos acompañan cada delicioso plato y las buenas mesas de la ciudad.
- Gastronomy in blois, subtly blends the wealth of the historic and natural heritage surrounding the city. The soft landscapes are bursting with local produce, following the changing seasons: tender asparagus, wild pheasant and mushrooms, Sologne patties and little goat´s cheese from the farms. Blois has over 70 wine growers. Good wines accompany every tasty dish in the bistros and good restaurants of Blois.
Mañana será otro día.
- Tomorrow will be another day.
Fuente: Mis anotaciones sobre la marcha.
Source: Me taking notes on the go.