Versailles vs Blois

Old Sep 26th, 2010, 01:40 PM
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Versailles vs Blois

We've been to Versailles and found walking through/looking at rooms for us was way too long--after an hour, we were frantically searching for a way out.
So, for those who've been to both Versailles and Blois--or a nearby place such as Amboise-- , please give feedback on Blois Chateau. How long is the guided tour? (We know the English one is only on Wednesday, but we both understand French) . Can you just wander about at your own pace without being hemmed in by huge groups of other tourists? (This will be on a Sunday in May).
Thank you in advance for any tips/advice/feedback.
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Old Sep 26th, 2010, 01:49 PM
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To partially answer my own question..on Sunday at 10:30 am there's a tour that takes you to areas that are not open to the public--Visite Insolite.
Darn!!! We arrive later than that. Perhaps this info will be useful to another reader:

http://www.chateaudeblois.fr/?Individual-visit&lang=en
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Old Sep 26th, 2010, 02:35 PM
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I've been to Blois but I did the audioguided tour. It is a great château with an interesting and important history, great architecture and nicely furnished interior. I bet you would enjoy it even if you only did the audio tour but that's for you to decide. I can't remember if we listened to every little bit on the audioguide but I think we spent a couple of hours there. And the crowds will be very minimal and you may have many of the rooms to yourselves as the visitors easily spread out through the château. You can also wander at your own pace. Of course I was there during the winter but I don't think you'll find it crowded in May, since the high tourist season doesn't start until June.

I've been to Amboise as well but Blois is better than the château at Amboise. You can't compare Versailles to Blois because there is nothing that you can compare Versailles with. While Blois is a large château it is not overwhelming and I don't think you'll be seeking an exit like you were at Versailles.
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Old Sep 26th, 2010, 02:52 PM
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Thank you, FrenchMystique! that is exactly the kind of encouragement and info i needed!!! Merci beaucoup!!
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Old Sep 26th, 2010, 03:31 PM
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No problem CaliNurse. Blois is a favorite château of mine. Sometimes at a château I like to just wander and look but this is truly one where I wanted the audioguide. Make sure you take some time to stroll around town too. Lovely place. Have fun!
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Old Sep 26th, 2010, 04:08 PM
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Blois and Versailles are apples and oranges. I'm not a big fan of Versailles, but I love Blois, especially the medicine cabinet. That said, I also love Amboise. There's just something very cool about inviting a bunch of Huegenots to dinner in your lavish banquet hall and defenestrating them - I can think of relatives I'd love to have done that to. Plus, Amboise has the Clos Lucé and all those nifty models of gismos by Da Vinci.
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Old Sep 26th, 2010, 05:53 PM
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Blois is more a chateau. Amboise is more a fortified castle - and there is muc less open to be seen.However,, there is also Le Clos Luce, where Leonardo livedfor years and displaying several of his inventions - which is fascinating.
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Old Sep 27th, 2010, 03:20 AM
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Blois is historically important and interesting to many people but if you were bored with Versailles you will like Blois much less. It is in the city and has no gardens to speak of relative to Versailles. On the other hand Ambroise is a charming town and it is not far to the chateau Chenonceau. Check out the photos at Google Images. Also if you are in Ambroise you might enjoy "Le Clos Luce'" which was the villa given to Leonardo Da Vinci by King Francois I. I found it more interesting than the chateau at Ambroise.

Larry J
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Old Sep 27th, 2010, 05:17 AM
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If you got bored with Versailles after just an hour, might it just be that you're not the chateau type?

Nothing wrong with that: I can't abide most of the stately homes in my own country, never mind those in a country about whose history I've got limited knowledge.

Trying to cure chateau allergy by looking at more chateaux is like going to more Shakespeare plays if you hated the first one you got dragged to: it just makes the problem worse.

FWIW, the way I've learned to deal with my intense hatred of chateaux (or stately homes) is to agree to visit only those with something I know I'll be truly interested in. In my case, for example, Chantilly's fine because it's got a spectacular ilustrated manuscript, it looks lovely from outside and the stables are nice. I just avoid the rest, and we pop off to Beauvais cathedral for something I'm really interested in.

There really is no law saying you have to love the contents of any country's stately homes.
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Old Nov 6th, 2010, 02:55 PM
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Sorry for the delayed THANK YOU to French Mystique St Cirq, LarryJ, NY Traveler, FLannerUK- all of you who took the time to reply with replies, which are in themselves an education!

St Cirq-ewwwwww-didnt know about those poor Huguenots. Time to read some history before our trip. .LOL FlannerUK, re making the allergy worse.

The best part of Versailles was seeing the little escape door from Marie Antoinette's room. If i can really imagine those people and their emotions, it is fun. O/w it is just big fancy rooms with lots of paintings. Thanks for making me feel less weird for not loving these iconic chateaux.

My route may change, so not sure we'll have to decide.
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