Destination: Châteaux of the Loire Valley (Part 2)

Bonjour, again!

Picking up from where I left off in Part 1 of my visit to the châteaux of the Loire Valley, I boarded the shuttle once more after my time at the château de Chambord and made my way over to the next one: the château de Cheverny. Compared with the other two that I’d visited (Blois and Chambord), Cheverny was not actually a royal chateau, but rather a noble one. In other words, it was smaller and less grand-looking than the royal ones, appearing more so like a manor house than a palace. All the same, I wanted to make full use of my 6-euro round trip ticket for the day, so with that, I hopped off the shuttle when it stopped near the town hall of Cour-Cheverny, a village just right next to Cheverny, and made my way over to the château, located about 15 to 20 minutes away on foot.

I arrived at the entrance of the château and considering that I didn’t have too much time before I needed to catch the shuttle again, I opted not to enter the château, instead choosing to wander a bit around the large gardens and woods. Of course, I took photos of the château from the outside (again, it was quite small and not very impressive-looking, but it was fine). I also came across a cute cottage right next to the château with an exhibition on Tintin, a famous Belgian cartoon character: I believe that Cheverny was featured in one of the comics, so that’s why it was present over there.

Château de Cheverny.

I also stumbled upon a small, caged area…with beagles! Not just one or two of them, but dozens! It was absolutely insane the amount of them inside, all of them basking in the sun for an idle, afternoon nap. Serious orgy going on in there…

Tintin house.
Beagles everywhere!

There was also the jardin potager, which is just a fancy term for a pretty flower garden. You could tell that spring was already in full bloom, for the place was absolutely bursting in pink, yellow, and white flowers. What a sight to see!

Jardin Potager.

I also sat on a bench and had a small snack break with the food that I’d brought with me. Soon after, I left the château de Cheverny, making my way back to the shuttle stop where I took it at 16h05 to the next and final château on the circuit: the château de Beauregard.

Again, the château de Beauregard is another noble chateau, so not grand and extravagant like the royal ones. Nevertheless, I was impressed by the sheer size of its park, stretching for acres and acres with some massive, woolly sheep idly chewing on grass just right outside the entrance to the gift shop/welcome desk. I paid the admission fee (10 euros) before setting off for the chateau, about a 10-minute walk through the large, nature park. Blue skies were in full effect that day, which made the place look all the more amazing.

At the park of Beauregard.

I arrived at the chateau and did a quick tour of the place before deciding to take the complimentary tour of the manor, which had been commissioned by Jean du Thier, the Minister of Finance in the 16th-century for King Louis XIII. Beauregard was actually tiny, even more so than Cheverny, I believe, since it literally consisted of perhaps five or six rooms of exhibition. Nonetheless, it was interested to take a peek inside the old, antique kitchen, along with the portrait gallery consisting of 300-plus portraits of important figures throughout the castle’s history (including Gaston d’Orléans and Catherine de Medici) and another gallery which, funny enough, was filled with portraits of dogs, as part of a local exhibition from around the area. The tour lasted about 90 minutes and while very informative, I was utterly exhausted at the end of it. All the same, I was glad to have seen the château de Beauregard as part of the shuttle circuit.

Château de Beauregard.
Old kitchen inside the chateau.

I left the chateau around 18h00, and waited for the shuttle to come by so that I could take it all the way back to Blois to get home. The shuttle arrived around 18h30, and I made it back to the Blois-Chambord train station around 19h00 where I had some time to kill before I needed to take the train back. Had dinner there and around 19h50 I caught my train towards Paris, having to change at Orleans (literally hopped off and ran across the platform to the other train bound for Paris) before arriving back at Gare d’Austerlitz in Paris around 21h40. There wouldn’t be another train back to my town in Normandy until 23h50 (the last train out), so I just hung around the train station, even venturing outside for a bit to stroll in the neighborhood before catching the train back, returning to my town at 0h30 and arriving back at my flat close to 1h00. After showering and unpacking, I turned in for bed close to 2h00, utterly exhausted, but glad to be home.

Overall, it was a short and intense weekend, but I’m glad to have made it out to the Loire Valley to see at least some of the well-known chateaux there. The 6-euro deal on the shuttle to see four chateaux was a pretty good steal; it beats having to fork over 100 euros for a private coach tour that would take you only to two, maybe three chateaux tops. Granted, I was super exhausted at the end of it all, but the beautiful sights of each chateau were worth it.

Glad to have crossed (some of) the chateaux of the Loire Valley off my bucket list for France! Here’s to more opportunities to visit more of the chateaux there, perhaps Chenonceau (next on my list!). Until then!

— The Finicky Cynic

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