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Château de Villandry

sunny 20 °C

Friday morning; our last full day in the French countryside, indeed in the country of France itself. I find myself torn between the desire to find a way to remain in this beautiful country and the desire to return home to the U.S. I am glad that Cindy and I decided to do the whirlwind tour of Paris during the first week and spend the second week at a more relaxed pace here in the Loire Valley, where it has been peaceful, calming and restful.

We have scheduled our final 2 chateaus to visit for this day, since they are within a very short driving distance of each other. We still need to get an early start and make sure that we leave early enough to arrive at the first stop just as it is opening to the public. This is a plan that has worked well at the other chateaus we have visited, as the tour buses typically start arriving about an hour after opening, so we get a head start on beating the crowds that will swarm in later.

Château de Villandry was completed back in 1536 and was the last of the chateaus built in the Loire Valley during the Renaissance.

Here's an aerial shot of the estate.


And a video of when we first arrived.

Cindy and her mom in the courtyard.

One of many dining rooms.


Cindy and her mom looking out a second floor room of the chateau to part of the garden.


One of many bedrooms.

Those winding staircases that seem to be in every building ever constructed in France.


Up on the roof there was cat. We assume it walked up the stairs as there didn't appear to be any other way for it to get there.


Looking out over part of the gardens.


Looking back and down to the courtyard.

What is it they say about cats and curiosity?


Our feline friend up on the edge of the battlements on the roof. Thankfully she never indulged her apparent desire to try and leap to the next roof and instead let me take her down off the edge and carry her over to the stairs where she walked down to the first floor.


Down off the roof and on one of the walkways that overlooks the gardens, Cindy and her mom pose for a picture.


Looks like we accidentally took a picture of some homeless guy.


Cindy and her mom walking through the tree-lined path.


Here's a shot from the middle of the garden looking toward the castle. The black arrow is pointing to where we stood on the roof earlier.


Cindy and her mom walking through the grape arbor.


Walking down one of the stone stairways in the garden.


A shot from the far end of the garden looking back to the castle.


I had so much fun with my new camera. Here is just one of dozens of shots I took with birds, bees and butterflies flitting or landing on the flowers in this beautiful garden. Look at the detail and how you can see the bee pollinating the flower!


Cindy and her mom at the "wall of roses".


As we were leaving, I took this shot of the castle with the sun peeking over the top.


As we were leaving crowds were arriving and gathering around the area which served as an entrance and exit. Cindy and her mom wanted to stop into the gift shop (which was, of course conveniently located by the exit) and I decided to use the opportunity to avail myself of the restroom facilities. I walked into the men's room and, taking note that there were no urinals on the wall, stepped into a stall and closed the door. Once again, I was struck by the differences in French toilets, as this one had no seat to sit on. Fortunately, I didn't need to sit. I could hear female voices in the restroom and assumed as I was in a unisex bathroom. I had heard of them but had not been in one as of yet. I finished my "business" and stepped out of the stall and stepped to the sink to wash my hands, only to find several women staring at me. It then hit me that it wasn't a unisex bathroom, it was the ladies bathroom. I washed my hands quickly and got out of there as fast as I could, walking past the entrance to the men's room that I had missed right next door.

By now it was about 11am. We left to drive to the next village to see our final castle of our French adventure.

Next post: Château d' Azay-le-Rideau

Posted by WorldQuest 13:13 Archived in France Tagged tourist_sites

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LOL now I dont feel so bad about changing Heather in the Men's room! The cat was too cute. And awesome picture of the flower and the bee!!

by mamaclukey

That's funny! They were probably thinking that's the ugliest american woman we ever seen!

by wethema

Lovely, lovely tour of Villandry. Got a real chuckle about the ladies room. That sounds like something I would do. Thanks for the trip.


by Kimsota

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