travel, Uncategorized

a europe diary: paris (part III)

Hello again! I hope everyone has been having a great week.

Currently, I’m writing this from a library at Columbia University. I’m sitting in front of a window with the most fantastic view of my campus. Honestly, I’m not sure how I was lucky enough to end up at my dream school, but I am so grateful to be here (even if I’m drowning in schoolwork).

Now, retour a la bonne substance (back to the good stuff, courtesy of google translator–thank you very much)!

We took a break from the city to head to the countryside. My family and I hired a private tour guide and driver to show us the Loire valley. Although at the end we realized we could have done without the personal guide, we were still happy to have her there.

The town below surrounds the Chateau de Amboise–a beautifully authentic, medival-esque castle.

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(Chateau de Amboise above)

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How great is the view? It definitely was the least opulent castle we saw, but it had a lot of character.

Next, we rolled up to the Chateau de Chenonceau, one of the most famous castles, with this fantastic greenery.

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The ballroom is pictured below. So french!

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The castle was built for a king’s lover, as well as the massive garden shown below. The story becomes quite comedic after the king’s death: his wife, Catherine de Medici, retook the castle and built her own garden (that’s much smaller than the mistress’s, due to little land) and styled it her own way. The castle isn’t nicknamed Chateau de Dames for nothing.

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Finally, we explored the Chateau de Chambord. It’s recognizable for its French Renaissance architecture, and it’s the largest castle in the Loire Valley. Despite it’s fortress-facade, it was merely a hunting castle–and the french royalty barely used it even though it took a hefty sum of money to build it. (The french revolution suddenly becomes much more understandable).

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This staircase is literally history. It was a design crafted by Da Vinci himself–a double helix where you could see those on the other staircase from windows shown below (the picture below is of the center of the staircase).

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The french countryside is really how you’d imagine it–as long as you pictured lots of vineyards, greenery, and a crispy french air that is present in their wines!

Au Revoir,

{Kate}

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