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28 dec.

Loire Valley during Winter Holidays

Chateau Royal de Blois

For me, every trip is a reason for joy and adrenaline, whether it’s a job or a vacation. But after an awful cold and 2 sleepless nights, exploring a new place didn’t seem so fun. However, armed with many pills, tinctures and oils I went to look for my prince in the enchanted castle.

You know I’m kidding, but I would not have missed the trip to Loire Valley for anything in the world. I’ve seen so many pictures online and I’ve heard so many recommendations that it was a must to get there, even for 3 days. And what I saw was a preview to open my appetite for even more.

After a flight or rather a three-hour sleep, we arrived in Paris and headed straight to the train for another hour and a half to our final destination. From there we were taken over by Mario, from the Val de Loire Travel, who was standfast the whole journey. First of all, we were able to eat a delicious quiche and drink black tea at Maison Bigot, a pastry shop since 1913. All of this was in order for us to get back on our feet after so many hours of traveling and to get ready for the first two locations: Chateau Royal d ‘Amboise and Chateau du Clos Luce or, more simply, the house of Leonardo da Vinci.

Chateau Royal d"Amboise

The Chateau Royal d’Amboise is an important part of France’s history and dates back to the 11th century. It has passed through the hands of many owners, and today it is said to be a fifth of what it once was. The castle’s historical apogee was under the reign of Francis I, who invited Leonardo da Vinci to live in Amboise in 1515.
We had the opportunity to visit the gardens, the tomb of Leonardo, and in the castle we were welcomed by the locals who taught us the royal court dances.

Chateau Royal d"Amboise

Chateau Royal d'Amboise

Leonardo’s house is smaller, but both the view to the Chateau d’Amboise and the underground passage that communicates with the castle made me feel like it was an annex of the castle. Leonardo da Vinci lived at the Chateau du Clos Luce, between 1516 and 1519, where he died. The castle was both residence and place of study. The many exhibits inside the castle demonstrate how varied were his areas of interest, from aviation, to botany, painting and sculpture. King Francois I called him „The First Painter, Architect and Engineer of the King”.

Chateau du Clos Luce,

And to maintain the royal feeling, our accommodation was at Le Clos d ‘Amboise. The rooms, the reception, the yard and all the decor made you feel the vibe of those years. After you see the pictures you will understand why I really want to come back here one day.

My next day’s red outfit fit perfectly with the impeccable white facade of the hotel, but also with the three castles we were going to visit. And I really didn’t talk to Ana Morodan to wear the same color, but as they say “great minds think alike”, our nicknames were Little Red Riding Hoods. I only know that our outfits fit perfectly into the landscape and I hope I’m not subjective 🙈. Not to mention Ovidiu. He walked all day, dressed in the most elegant tuxedo to fit in.

Le Clos d 'Amboise.

The first on the agenda was the Domaine de Chaumont sur Loire, recognized as one of Catherine de Medici’s residences, the wife of King Henry II. The castle was in her possession from 1550 to 1559, when she forced the king’s mistress, Diane of Poitiers to move here, while Catherine moved to Chateau de Chenonceau, which is the most popular and most beautiful, from my point of view. But I’ll tell you all about it in a bit.

Chateau Chaumont

Chateau de Chaumont is a UNESCO heritage, and because it is recognized for both history, art and gardening, it has become one of the most important destinations in the Loire Valley. It is considered the largest art center in France. Besides Catherine’s room, the music room, Ruggieri’s room or the spectacular tapestry, the castle is surrounded by impressive gardens, stables, and other annexes, where the most diverse workshops are organized.

Chateau de Chaumont

The most impressive thing I saw in almost all the castles were the holiday decorations. From embellished chapels to the most sophisticated table arrangements or decorative elements. Apart from the spirit of the Renaissance period, there were details of the respective season that make the perfect transition between the old and the new. I have rarely seen such an attention to details.

Chateau de Chaumont

The most spectacular, however, as I have told you, was Chateau de Chenonceau Its location on Raul Cher, the beautiful gardens, the 16th-century farm, Catherine’s stables, plus the over 70 hectares of forest make this area the most visited place on the Loire Valley, and not for nothing, believe me. All I want is to get here in the flower season, because I already imagine how the two gardens of Diane of Poitiers and Catherine de Medici would look colorful. There is even a garden of vegetables, which is used for restaurants. I recommend at least one day to enjoy this huge field and its beauties.

Chateau de Chenonceau

Chateau de Chenonceau

After we photographed every Christmas arrangement and table ornament inside the castle, we left to the last place on our list, namely Chateau Royal de Blois. I have to admit that the entrance did not impress me and I had the impression that it was very small (especially after visiting Chenonceau), but when I went inside I changed my mind completely.

The castle is made up of four parts, each decorated in a different style, but seamless all together. Besides the busts of 6 kings who lived there and Catherine de Medici’s bedroom, where she died, the castle is largely a 15th century painting, sculpture and tapestry exhibition.

Chateau Royal de Blois

Here we have captured the most spectacular sunset and a wonderful view of the city. Maybe the photos manage to express a bit better what I saw, but they cannot always capture the emotion.

Chateau Royal de Blois

For the last day we intended to visit Chateau Chambord, the largest in the Loire Valley. We gave up though because a part of the castle was closed. We tried to unravel the imposing silhouette, through a very dense fog. The big surprise was, however, when President Macron
passed by us in a rush, surrounded by bodyguards, of course, and Razvan’s attempts to photograph him were not impressive. Still, he managed to save a movie, after one of Macron’s guards told him through his teeth „Supprime” 😂

Chateau Chambord

After this short history lesson that we experienced and shared with you, I only have to conclude that I have seen very little and I want to come back as soon as possible. I know I told you that already, but that’s how I feel when I’m visiting in a rush. The most important thing is that it motivated me to read more about history, giving the fact that it wasn’t my favorite subject at school. So, if you know some good books from that period, please tell me.

If you haven’t been there yet, I recommend you to put it on your next year’s wish list. You will not feel sorry, I guarantee that.

Wonderful travels and unforgettable experiences !!!

PS. It was a pleasure to spend these 3 wonderful days with you Ana Morodan, Ovidiu Muresanu, Claudiu or Claude (code name), Andrei Nourescu, and Razvan, thank you for your coordination. Andra, even if you were not with us, you organized everything impeccably and we thank you. Kisses and a wonderful New Year!!!

Chateau Chenonceau

Chateau Chenonceau

Valea Loarei in perioada sarbatorilor de iarna

Pentru mine, fiecare excursie este un motiv de bucurie si de adrenalina, fie ca este job sau vacanta. Insa, dupa zile de raceala crunta si 2 nopti de nedormit, sa explorez o zona noua nu parea un lucru tocmai distractiv. Dar inarmata cu multe medicamente, tincturi si uleiuri am plecat sa imi caut printul din castelul fermecat.

Stiti ca imi place sa glumesc, dar nu as fi ratat tripul de pe Valea Loarei pentru nimic in lume. Am vazut atatea poze online si am auzit multe recomandari, incat era un must sa ajung acolo, chiar si pentru 3 zile. Si ce am vazut a fost un preview pentru a-mi deschide si mai mult apetitul.

Dupa un zbor sau mai bine zis un somn de 3 ore, am ajuns la Paris si direct la tren pentru inca o ora si jumatate catre destinatia noastra finala. De aici am fost preluati de Mario, de la Val de Loire Travel, care a fost omul nostru de nadejde pe toata perioada. In primul rand, am reusit sa mancam un quiche delicios si am baut un ceai negru la Maison Bigot, o patiserie din 1913. Toate acestea ca sa ne revenim dupa atatea ore de mers si ca sa fim pregatiti pentru primele doua locatii: Chateau Royal d’Amboise si Chateau du Clos Luce sau mai simplu zis, casa lui Leonardo da Vinci.

Chateau Royal d"Amboise

Chateau Royal d’Amboise este o parte importanta din istoria Frantei si dateaza din sec XI. A trecut prin mana multor proprietari, iar astazi se zice ca reprezinta o cincime din ce a fost odata. Apogeul istoric al castelui a fost sub domnia lui Francisc I, care l-a invitat in 1515 pe Leonardo da Vinci sa locuiasca in Amboise.

Chateau Royal d'Amboise

Am avut ocazia sa vizitam gradinile, mormantul lui Leonardo, iar in castel am fost intampinati de localnici, care ne-au invatat dansurile de la curtea regala.

Casa lui Leonardo este de dimensiuni mai mici, insa atat privelistea catre Chateau d’Amboise, cat si pasajul subteran, care comunica cu castelul, mi-au creat senzatia ca de fapt era o anexa a castelului. Leonardo da Vinci a locuit la Chateau du Clos Luce, intre 1516 si 1519, unde a si murit. Castelul a fost si resedinta si loc de studiu, iar multele exponate din interiorul castelului demonstreaza cat de variate erau domeniile lui de interes, de la aviatie, botanica, pana la pictura si sculptura. Regele Francois I il numea “Primul pictor, arhitect si inginer al Regelui”.

Chateau du Clos Luce

Si ca sa pastram atmosfera regala, cazarea noastra a fost la hotelul Le Clos d’ Amboise. Camerele, receptia, curtea si absolut tot decorul te facea sa simti vibe-ul acelor ani. Dupa ce o sa vedeti pozele o sa intelegeti de ce vreau neaparat sa ma intorc intr-o zi aici.

Outfitul meu rosu de-a doua zi s-a potrivit perfect cu fatada de un alb impecabil a hotelului, dar si cu cele 3 castele, pe care urma sa le vizitam. Si chiar nu m-am vorbit cu Ana Morodan sa purtam aceeasi culoare, dar cum se zice ‘gand la gand cu bucurie’, drept pentru care, porecla noastra a fost Scufitele Rosii. Stiu doar ca tinutele noastre s-au incadrat perfect in peisaj si sper sa nu fiu subiectiva🙈. De Ovidiu nu mai zic. A mers imbracat toata ziua in cel mai elegant tuxedo, ca sa se simta de-al locului.

Le Clois d'Amboise

Primul pe ordinea de zi a fost Domaine de Chaumont sur Loire, recunoscut ca una din resedintele lui Catherine de Medici, sotia regelui Henry II. Castelul a fost in posesia ei, din 1550, pana in 1559, cand a obligat-o pe amanta regelui, Diane de Poitiers sa se mute aici, iar Catherine s-a mutat la Chateau de Chenonceau, care este cel mai popular si cel mai frumos, din punctul meu de vedere. Dar va povestesc imediat despre el.

Chateau de Chaumont

Chateau de Chaumont este in patrimoniul Unesco, iar prin faptul ca este recunoscut atat pentru istorie, dar si pentru arta si gradinarit, a devenit unul dintre cele mai importante destinatii de pe Valea Loarei. Este considerat cel mai mare centru de arta din Franta. Pe langa camera lui Catherine, camera de muzica, camera lui Ruggieri sau tapiteriile spectaculoase, castelul este inconjurat de gradini impresionante, grajduri, plus alte anexe, unde se organizeaza cele mai diverse workshopuri.

Chateau de Chaumont

Music Room

Cel mai impresionant lucru pe care l-am vazut in aproape toate castelele au fost decorurile de sarbatori. De la capele impodobite, pana la cele mai sofisticate aranjamente de masa sau elemente decorative. Pe langa spiritul perioadei Renascentiste sunt felul de detalii pentru sezonul respectiv, care fac trecerea perfecta intre vechi si nou. O atentie mai mare la detalii rar am vazut.

Chateau de Chenonceau

Cel mai spectaculos insa, asa cum v-am spus mi s-a parut Chateau Chenonceau. Amplasarea lui pe Raul Cher, gradinile superbe, ferma din secolul XVI, cu grajdurile lui Catherine, plus cele peste 70 de hectare de padure, fac din acest domeniu cel mai vizitat loc de pe Valea Loarei si nu degeaba, credeti-ma. Tot ce imi doresc este sa ajung aici in sezonul florilor, pentru ca deja imi imaginez cum ar arata colorate cele 2 gradini ale lui Diane de Poitiers si ale lui Catherine de Medici. Exista chiar o gradina de legume si zarzavaturi, care se folosesc in restaurantele existente. Va recomand cel putin o zi, ca sa va puteti bucura de acest domeniu imens si de frumusetile lui.

Chateau Cheenonceau

Chateau Chenonceau

Chateau Chenonceau

Si dupa ce am fotografiat fiecare aranjament de Craciun, ornament de masa din interiorul castelului, am plecat catre ultimul pe lista si anume Chateau Royal de Blois. Trebuie sa recunosc ca intrarea nu m-a impresionat si am avut senzatia ca este foarte mic (mai ales dupa ce am vizitat Chenonceau), dar cand am ajuns in interior mi-am schimbat total parerea.

Chateau Royal de Blois

Castelul este format din 4 parti, fiecare decorata in stil diferit, dar care arata destul de unitar. Pe langa busturile a 6 regi, care au locuit aici, dormitorul lui Catherine de Medici, unde a si murit, castelul este in mare parte o expozitie de pictura, sculptura si tapiserii din sec XV.

Aici am prins insa cel mai spectaculos apus si o priveliste de vis asupra orasului. Poate pozele reusesc sa exprime putin mai bine ceea ce am vazut, dar nici ele nu pot sa surprinda intotdeauna emotia.

Chateau Royal de Blois

Pentru ultima zi am avut in program sa vizitam Chateau Chambord, cel mai mare de pe Valea Loairei. Am renuntat insa, pentru ca o parte a castelului era inchisa, dar am incerat sa ii deslusim putin silueta impunatoare, printr-o ceata extrem de deasa. Surpriza mare a fost insa, cand pe langa noi a trecut in fuga presedintele Macron, inconjurat bineinteles de garzile de corp, iar incercarile lui Razvan de a-l fotografia au fost destul de reduse. A reusit totusi sa salveze un filmulet, dupa ce una din garzile lui Macron i-a spus printre dinti “Supprime” 😂

Iar dupa aceasta scurta lectie de istorie, de care am avut parte si v-am impartasit-o si voua, nu imi ramane decat sa trag concluzia ca am vazut foarte putin si imi doresc sa ma intorc cat de curand. Stiu ca v-am mai zis asta , dar asa ma simt cand vizitez in fuga. Cel mai important lucru este ca m-a motivat sa citesc mai multa istorie, avand in vedere ca nu era materia mea preferata la scoala. Asa ca, daca stiti cateva carti bune din perioada respectiva, va rog sa-mi recomandati.

Si daca nu ati ajuns inca aici, trebuie sa puneti pe wish listul de anul urmator. Nu o sa va para rau si garantez pentru asta.

Calatorii minunate si experiente de neuitat!!!

PS. A fost o placere sa petrec aceste 3 zile minunate cu voi Ana Morodan, Ovidiu Muresanu, Claudiu sau Claude (nume de cod), Andrei Nourescu, iar tie Razvan iti multumim pentru coordonare. Andra chiar daca nu ai fost cu noi ai organizat totul impecabil si iti multumim. Va pup si un An Nou minunat!!!

  • Laura Toma

    Ce ma bucur ca am vazut si o varianta de sarbatori a castelelor de pe Loire. ❤️
    Mie mi-au placut Chenonceau si Cheverny, dar toate sunt deosebite in stilul lor.
    Super articol!😊

    decembrie 28, 2017 at 4:00 PM Răspunde
  • federova

    Doamne cum arata castelele alea!! Am deschis nenumarate taburi, m-ai facut sa visez, sa caut oferte, cazari, una alta. Simt fluturi in stomac, imi doresc enorm sa ajung prin locurile alea, asa cum ai zis si tu, in perioada florilor. Nu prea sunt sanse, dar mi-ar placea la anul sa pot vizita. Ador castelele <3

    decembrie 29, 2017 at 12:33 PM Răspunde
  • Diana Pirje

    Superbe fotografiile! Si eu imi doresc sa vad castelele de pe Valea Loirei. Momentan am vazut Bretania si m-a incantat extrem de mult Moint Saint Michel sau Cote de granit rose. 💟 Nu cred ca e nimic mai frumos decat sa calatoresti si sa iti imbogatesti sufletul!

    ianuarie 16, 2018 at 6:51 PM Răspunde

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