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Aug 7th, 2011, 06:25 PM
  #5
travfirst
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 296
Day 1 Arrival - Château de Chambord - Château de Cheverny
After an uneventful flight we picked up our rental car from Avis and started our journey at 10 am (Avis with Costco codes happened to have better rate than discounted car rentals).
There was some traffic driving around Paris from CDG but nothing too terrible and our ride took the same time as estimated by viamichelin.com. As soon as we exited the highway we stopped for lunch at the first restaurant we noticed and got lucky (Family’s Grill, 45 Baule 5872657). Our lunch was excellent with one small exception - DS ordered mussels and got 8 baked half-shells - tiny portion even for lunch and not exactly what he expected. Probably it was described on the menu but he didn’t fully understand the description. DH chose prefix with salmon - salmon cutlet with the salmon fillet around it that tasted heavenly. As it was a tiny place in a tiny town most patrons where locals and knew the owner.
I should tell you now that I love castles, châteaus, palaces and historic houses; with near 1000 châteaus in the area my main goal was not to exhaust my family with too many visits.
The first destination was Château de Chambord http://chambord.org
From the moment we saw it, it looked magnificent. We paid for the parking and walked around taking many, many pictures and enjoying a nice sunny day. We didn’t go inside as I wanted to visit another château before reaching our B&B. I always wonder about what I missed, but it’s just impossible to see EVERYTHING. I must say it was worth paying for parking to admire the exterior of this beautiful château; I would love to pay small entrance fees or parking at other places to do the same.
The next stop was Château de Cheverny http://www.chateau-cheverny.com/uk_accueil.php
We reached it around 4 pm and had time to explore the lower level of this lovely château before the dog feeding at 5 pm and see second level, grounds and gardens after. Many visitors come to view the kennels and see this event. We all love dogs and especially the sporting group (we had an Irish setter for 12 years and adored him). I can honestly tell the dog feeding was not what I imagined, and left us all a bit distressed. I understand now that because these dogs are bread and raised to hunt they should be hungry for meat and have top animal instincts. Before the feeding they move the hounds to a separate area and got the food (a mix of dry food and some meat) ready. When the time came a small selected group of dogs was allowed to the feeding area and then the entire kennel joined. Food was disappearing very quickly; hopping to fill stomachs some dogs were jumping on the backs of the others, there were few left with serious scratches and bleeding after entire event was over; but at the very end dogs licked each other to get every single drop of food that ended up on their coats.
Château de Cheverny was one of the three nicely furnished and decorated châteaus that we visited, along with Serrant and Chenonceau.
It’s an hour drive from Cheverny to our first B&B Château de Pintray. Since we didn’t have desire or energy to go out for dinner and wished to get to bed early, we stopped for a quick food shopping at the first supermarket on the way and then at the bakery. We purchased a bottle of red from the B&B and had picnic dinner outside with a view of vineyard.
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