Crossing France in a week: Chateaux of the Loire Valley and cities

My last week in France was a race to   go to a friend’s wedding near Angers and visit people in Troyes, Rodez, Toulon and back to Nice. That’s a lot of driving, but we managed to make it pleasant. The north of France is getting a little chilly that time of the year, but it still is summer in the south.

Since they were more or less on our way, we visited two Chateaux of the Loire Valley, supposed to be the most beautiful: the Chateau of Chenonceau and the Chateau of Chambord.

Chenonceau has a very interesting story, it was always owned by women who made it a more beautiful architectural piece and art display every time. During world war II, the catsle was partly in the occupied zone and partly in the free zone. People would go through it to escape occupation. It’s also directly built on the Loire.   

 
Chambord is absolutely gorgeous. It is a mix of renaissance and typical medieval architecture. It’s huge and takes a while to visit. The staircases and the top in particular are masterpieces. Leonard Da Vinci used to live near by and was a close friend to François 1st, who built the castle. Even though there is no evidence of it, it would not be surprising if he’d prticipated in the architecture plans!

  
  
Troyes has a really cute old town with houses in “colombage”. It’s very picturesque.  

 We passed the Auvergne and the Aubrac plateau on our way to Rodez and saw its many volcanos. The landscape is very green and much prettier than I imagined.   

    

We drove on the Millau bridge.

 
Once in the South, the sky was getting clearer and the temperature rose. We enjoyed a couple of extra days in Nice, having coffe on new rooftop bars and near the sea.

    
   
  

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