When I was first planning our holiday through Europe, my original plan was to head to the French Riviera after Paris for a few days. But thankfully our wonderful family friend David pitched another idea to us - a road trip through the Loire Valley, down to Bordeaux - complete with castles, chateaus and wine. SAY NO MORE!! Thank you David =)
THE HIGHLIGHT REEL
- Chateaus and wine - obviously. I missed out on the 'castle' (Chateau de Chambord) because I was too ambitious and thought we could fit more than one chateau in per day. We only had 1.5 days in the Loire Valley, and it wasn't long enough! We wish we had allowed for another few days at least in this area.
- Quintessential French Doors (see above)
- Plants. Plants. Plants. Plants. More Plants. EVERYWHERE. France will forever be known as the birthplace of my obsession with gardening.
- At the risk of sounding like a total NERD - learning about history. All of the chateaus we visited came with audio tour guides which was so cool. I love French history, so it was wonderful to deep dive into it a little bit more.
- The foooood!
THE NOT SO FUN STUFF
Except for the bread. Just, so much bread. I felt like a loaf of bread by the time we left!!
Loire Valley · CHATEAU DE VILLANDRY
I think I became really interested in trying my hand at gardening when we arrived at this beautiful chateau. The gardens are honestly breathtaking. The woods behind the chateau were so incredible. So still and silent and old ♥
This was our favourite accommodation of our entire visit, and is where I really fell in love with gardening. They were the most beautiful couple, so friendly and their home was so quintessentially French. The best part was the way she had transformed her concrete courtyard into an oasis. I felt too weird taking photos of their home, but I honestly couldn't resist taking a photo of the courtyard. Sitting in the living room and looking out into the courtyard was so peaceful, I'm on a mission to create something similar
Our host also recommended that we take a short walk into the centre of Tours to admire the church. I think it was just as grand as the Notre Dame - just less famous. We instantly fell in love with him because he shared that this church is also home to his favourite tree ♥♥♥. I love people who have favourite trees (I have about 10, in case you are wondering).
LOIRE VALLEY · Chateau DE CHENONCEAU
It was a rainy, dismal kind of day, but the Chateau de Chenonceau was still beautiful - I actually have this first B&W photo printed and framed in my house, I love it so much.
The woods behind the chateaus gardens were even more beautiful than from the first Chateau.
We didn't love Bordeaux much. We were only there for 1.5 days, and we didn't get much time to explore. I think perhaps we were just exhausted from all the running around!
It was also soccer mad, the Euro Cup was on during our travels and their were crazy revelers drinking and dancing in the streets everywhere until the wee hours of the morning!
This little village, in the heart of wine country, stole my heart.
I wish we had spent all the time we had in Bordeaux, here instead.
We had the yummiest food and wine here ♥
Thank you again David for the suggestion!
If only we could have afforded the shipping and handling cost of sending some red wine home!!! =(