My week this week: Chateaux

Oh ok maybe I've seen less Chateaux this week than last week, but c'mon when am I going to be able to choose it again. In fact it's more likely that I've had chateaux withdrawal this week, as there's definitely a downward trend. And the ones I have seen have only been in photos. Mine at that.

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So as I'm having a post-holiday week on the blog - if you want to have a peek at what we got up to this is the post for you - I'm sticking with it today and sharing the chateaux we visited over the past two weeks, and as luck would have it there's five of them too.

So, in the order we visited...

1. Chateau de Chambord

The first chateau we visited and the only one we visited twice, although once it was only to eat our lunch of baguette, cheese and fruit. The weather on both days couldn't be more different either, lovely and warm on our first visit when this photo was taken and slightly wetter when we returned. So wet we took the car, but it meant that we could more easily transport the wine we bought at Maison du Vin, so it wasn't such a bad thing.

CHATEAU DE CHAMBORD

CHATEAU DE CHAMBORD

2. Chateau Royal de Blois

We stayed in Blois for four nights as there was so much to see (read chateaux) in that area, including this one right in the town. It was much larger than I expected and its story grabbed me more than I expected it to as well. As you can see from the sky it was on another of the fine days, and with skies like that I was pleased not to be doing so much cycling.

CHATEAU ROYAL DE BLOIS

CHATEAU ROYAL DE BLOIS

3. Chateau de Cheverny

I loved the perfect symmetry of this chateau. It was great to go inside and be able to take pictures of the furnishings too, they were very grand. There was a very pretty vegetable garden or le jardin potager bouquetier, and I've plenty of photos to share on another day. There was also a Tintin exhibition here, which being completely oblivious to anything Tintin we didn't visit.

CHATEAU DE CHEVERNY

CHATEAU DE CHEVERNY

4. Chateau de Chenonceau

A beautiful, beautiful chateau and another one where the names of Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici featured, both of them built a garden which are remarkably similar yet different, we first learnt about these ladies at the Chateau Royal de Blois.  They were both very strong ladies, Diane known for her looks and for being a favourite of King Henry II of France, who gifted her this beautiful chateau. However it was soon reclaimed by Catherine on his death. As well as the gardens they both developed the bridge over the River Cher, which you can see in the second photo - clearly two very determined and powerful ladies.

CHATEAU DE CHENONCEAU 

CHATEAU DE CHENONCEAU 

THE GALLERY OVER THE RIVER CHER

THE GALLERY OVER THE RIVER CHER

5. Chateau de Villandry

If I'm honest before we arrived I wasn't too fussed by this chateau. I was here for the gardens, but as I was here and because the other chateaux had been so interesting, we went in.  It too was fascinating and had the most stunning oriental drawing room, unlike anything we'd seen at the previous chateaux - I'm saving that photo for the Villandry post, so sorry to tease you like that.

Out of the chateau and it was time to explore the gardens. And they were huge! The photo below shows about a quarter of the gardens, and that excludes the wood. It was beautiful and I found some new favourite hedges to add to my list.  And they'd have to go straight in at number one.

Eventually I tore myself away from the gardens, reminding myself of the cycle back to Tours. The gardens were just as good as I expected them to be, and I daren't count how many photo I took there.  One thing's for certain this trip will provide me with lots of posts over the next few weeks that's for sure.

 

An alternative word to sum up my week would be back, as I'm back from holiday and back joining in with linkys.  In the run up to my holiday time was scarce and my task list was long, so linkys were the thing to give. But now I'm back and (almost) raring to go!  

Have a great weekend, I'm spending Saturday at Brit Mums Live - or #BML16 - and am looking forward to meeting up with more bloggers, again.  It's becoming a bit of a habit isn't it?  But definitely not a bad one I can tell you.

The Reading Residence

Post Comment Love 24-26 June 2016

I'm writing this post ahead of the EU referendum is taking place, let alone before the results have come in.  No doubt like all of you, I'm hoping the result went the way I voted. I know we can't all be right, but I hope we all used our vote.

And putting that aside, welcome to another edition of PoCoLo!  If you're new here please link up any post you've written in the last week and comment on at least a couple of other posts. If you've been here before, then welcome back and either way Morgan and I are pleased to have you along.  This week I received a lovely comment on Twitter about our Post Comment Love community and that was "it had consistently good contributors" and I couldn't agree more! So thank you.

This week's photo is one from our trip to France and is the best starter I had there - not that I had that many. It's a goats cheese apple tatin and it was fantastic. If I'd mastered the sweet kind of tart tatin (I haven't), I'd be tempted to try and recreate this.

GOATS CHEESE APPLE TATIN AND A HUGE PILE OF LETTUCE

GOATS CHEESE APPLE TATIN AND A HUGE PILE OF LETTUCE

Newbie Showcase: Jennifer from Living with Layla-Rose

Jennifer and Layla-Rose

Jennifer is a newbie mum and a newbie blogger at Living with Layla-Rose and when she's not on maternity leave she's a full time teacher.

To find out more about Jennifer and to see her favourite posts, pop over to Morgan's blog.

Connect with Jennifer here

Please do pop over to Jennifer's blog and social accounts.

 

 

In our panniers we had...

Actually we had quite a lot, more than I expected - and at one point I managed to incorporate two bottles of wine as we made a stop in Vouvray. Well, it would have been rude not to, wouldn't it?

When I packed for our four days cycling around Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire earlier in the year I was hoping that by packing summer clothes, they'd be smaller and therefore we'd have more choice. And this proved correct, but planning what we packed took some time as every item needed to be versatile and work with the other items we'd packed.

We took:

MOH
1 x Jeans
1 x shorts
2 x cycling shorts (not lycra!)
1 x belt
3 x short sleeved shirts
2 x T-shirts
3 x cycling tops
1 x soft shell jacket
1 x waterproof jacket
Plimsolls
Flip Flops
PJs
Underwear
Toiletries
 

Me
2 x 3/4 length trousers
3 x T-shirts
2 x quick dry T-shirts
3 x cycling vest tops
4 x vest tops
2 x shorts
1 x waterproof jacket
1 x windproof jacket
My new tote bag
Flat sandals
Flip flops
Nightie
Underwear
Toiletries

ONE OF THE MANY LOIRE A VELO SIGNS WE FOLLOWED 

ONE OF THE MANY LOIRE A VELO SIGNS WE FOLLOWED 

And as we left Blois for Amboise we ditched some of our clothes after looking at the weather forecast.  I left two of the vest tops and a cycling vest top and MOH left a short sleeved shirt, plus the dirty clothes we'd already accumulated. Flip flops too were abandoned, although on reflection they are handy to wear to breakfast, so maybe I'd keep mine next time. It turned out that having the car partway down the route worked well and was probably better than leaving it in Orleans as we originally planned.

As well as our clothes we had plenty of other stuff to fit into to our panniers too:

Suntan lotion
Various chargers
Me; iPad
MOH; kindle and tablet
Wet wipes (an absolute godsend!)
My new glasses
Bike food, such as gels, energy bars and tablets
My medication
Two guide books - one for the route and the other on the Loire
Phrase book
A small notebook (mine obvs).


Next time we go, I'll be packing some of those travel tissues as well as the wet wipes as we ended up buying some.  While we were away my cold made a resurgence and I was in desperate need of soft tissues. I also needed to buy extra paracetamol as my glands started to play up in the second half of the last week.  At one point I was taking paracetamol every four hours like the packet said, and of course now I'm home and can do something about it, it's cleared up!

So there you go, two weeks worth of clothes for four panniers.  I realise this post will only be useful if you're curious to know how we managed, or if you're planning a similar trip, but I'll be checking back on this post next time we go on a summer cycle tour to remind myself of what we learnt.

I promise I have more interesting holiday posts to follow!