After living in the city of Paris for two full weeks, a change of pace was welcomed when our study abroad group took a weekend getaway to the Loire Valley in the countryside of France. This area is host to multiple chateaus - castles that lie on rivers. The countryside itself is wonderful and filled with expansive fields, dotted with cows and sheep, only to be interrupted by tiny towns in-between.
On Friday, we began with Chateau de Chenonceau. It sits on a large, fast-moving river and is filled with wonderful gardens. We were lucky enough to eat at the restaurant on the property and let me tell you, the food was some of the best I've ever had, especially the ice cream strawberry shortcake pastry dessert - I'm not quite sure how to classify it.
We spent a while touring the area and then made our way to Chateau de Razay - our residence for the night. While it wasn't nearly as big as Chenonceau, Razay was adorably classic. I even felt like I'd stepped back in time for a moment. The area around the chateau included a wonderfully large flower field, as well as tiny treehouse homes that I assume you could rent.
In the morning, we were sad to leave our little chateau, but equally as excited to see the next one on our list: Chateau de Chambord. This was easily the largest chateau we'd seen and it was amazing to think that famous kings, including Louis the Fourteenth, stayed there at one point.
After our visit at Chambord, it was time to head back to Paris. Until next time, Loire.