We took the bus ,or routier, to Chenonceau, which stops in the small town of Chenonceaux. It is a short walk to the chateau grounds from there. This was almost everyone's favorite chateau in the Loire. While it rained intermittently [more of a drizzle really], there were periods of sun and time to explore the gardens as well as the chateau itself. The video clip below is of Diane de Poitier's garden and the chateau.
The chateau bridges the Cher river thanks to the two strong women who ruled here during the 16th century, Diane de Poitiers and Catherine di Medici, Henri II's mistress and wife respectively. Diane built the bridge and Catherine constructed the grand hall that we see today.
Inside the chateau you can see their bedrooms. Pictured is that of Diane de Poitiers, the mistress of the king. Dr. Bard provided the background for the chateau itself, while Dr. Fowler took on the gardens.
The chateau staff was beginning to decorate for Christmas and there were some fires in the fireplaces, making Chenonceau's welcome even warmer!
Almost everyone made it into the lower levels where the kitchens were located. We were wondering who keeps all those copper pans polished!
We didn't want to leave Chenonceau! But it was time to walk between the sphinxes that guard her, down the allée lined with plane trees and back to the bus stop.