Category Archives: Centre-Val de Loire

Chenonceau Chateau History, Episode 171

Chenonceau Chateau History

Don’t let the title of this episode fool you: I cannot possibly tell you the whole story of the Chateau of Chenonceau in such a short format! This is a trip report to which I’ve added to with a French History Tidbit. I intend for it to give you a flavor or the Chenonceau so you can decide if you’d like to include it in your itinerary next time you visit France.

In this episode, Nancy Calkins tells us about her visit to the Chenonceau and Cheverny Chateaux in the Loire Valley. They are both spectacular, and Cheverny also offered stimulating activities for her teens, including the hunting dog pack and the tie-in to the Tintin stories. Nancy has some recommendations of where to stay in Montrichard which were quirky and fun.

Then, in the French History segment of the podcast, I share the parts of Chenonceau Chateau History that grabbed my attention. The story of the rivalry between Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Medici and how two French Kings died. I am editing this episode on Halloween, so that probably influenced that choice. Listen to how François I and Henry II, and you tell me: which one was worse?

Sign-Up for the Extra Content! This week it’s all about Chenonceau Shenanigans

I’ve started posting a photo of France each day on Instagram. Follow the Addicted to France account on Instagram to see them.

Recommended in this episode: Canoe sur le CherLa Chancellerie (hotel in Montrichard)

Would you like to tour France with Annie and Elyse? Visit Addicted to France to choose an upcoming tour.

 

Chenonceau seen from the side; Chenonceau chateau history episode

Episode Highlights with Time Stamps

[03:25] Nancy Calkins Introduction

Visiting Chenonceau

[04:25] Picturesque countryside, meandering along the Cher and the Loire, it’s the world of Châteaux.

[04:55] It’s difficult to choose where to stay because everything is in close proximity to the Châteaux, but they decided to start in Montrichard because it is a little off the beaten path and you can take a canoe trip that starts there.

The tour takes you under the arches of the Chenonceau Château. Canoe sur le Cher is the name of the company. You can also bike and combine it with canoeing. Montrichard is not a touristy town at all, you’re mingling with locals.

Recommendations Near Cheverny

[07:55] They stayed at a place called La Chancellerie, it was quirky, but it’s a miniature château , you go up a circular staircase up to an apartment, there’s a pool in the basement, troglodyte pool and area. Pétanque playing area. Game-room in the attic of the chateau, rocking horse, pool table, roulette table.

It lacks some refinements but is full of charms. The caretaker is laid-back that looks like Aussie Osborne but skinny and healthy. Gave good recommendations.

[11:00] The town is also cute, there’s a restaurant called Les Tuffeaux. The gentleman who runs that place was conversational and charming and attentive. Amazing wine from Cheverny. There’s Montrichard castle that got turned into a museum, they explored at night and went up the hill to get a lovely view over the valley.

[12:00] Great for families with kids, not up-scale, not recommended as much for honeymooners, although if you want something low-key.

[13:20] L]There are lots of little châteaux everywhere that you see as you drive around to the big ones. Montrichard was a manageable spot as a central location. Everything is accessible from there. Not far from Tour.

, hound dogs at cheverny; chenonceau chateau history

Loire Valley for Kids

[14:00] Loire Valley for kids. They went to Chenonceau chateau first, it is spectacular. The story of the rivalry between Catherine de Medici and Diane de Poitier is amazing.

Catherine wanted to have the last word, so she put her own portrait up in the mistress’ room, she built her garden to rival the other, building on her bridge. Floral arrangements at Chenonceau are also amazing.

[15:40] Cheverny. This is the Château that Captain Haddock’s Mansion is based on in Tintin. There is now a Tintin exhibit there too and the kids love it. The hunting dogs are also amazing. There are 200 of them, they lounge around and they look cool. Cheverny is a great kid’s oriented château.

[18:10] There is a little wine tasting place just outside of the Cheverny château, it’s a great place to taste and buy some wine.

[19:10] Other cool things to do in the Loire are biking, seeing the troglodytes, see more of the châteaux. The two major rivers are the Loire and the Cher rivers.

[20:24] Thank you for your support!

French History Segment of the Podcast

[26:00] The French History segment of the podcast: Today Chenonceau Chateau History.

[44:00] French Tip of the Week: Où se trouve la station service la plus proche, s’il vous plaît ?

Chaumont-sur-Loire Chateau; chenonceau chateau history episode

Conclusion

Learning about Chenonceau chateau history is definitely one of the reasons to go visit. Not just big historical events, but also all the small steamy stories too!

Cheverny is also gorgeous, and has the added interest of being the place that Tintin creator Hergé modeled Captain Haddock’s Castle on. So if your kids have any interest in Tintin, they will love it. The hound dogs there are amazing too, that alone makes it worth the visit!

Both places are gorgeous, remember to charge your camera, you will definitely make good use of it! Enjoy your visit to the Loire Valley!

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Six Easy Day Trips from Paris, Episode 106

Kim Henry guest of episode 106, day trips from Paris
Our guest Kim Henry with the Mont-Saint-Michel in the background.


Day trips from Paris

This episode goes into 6 day trips you can easily do from Paris with a little planning and a hunger to see new things. This advice is perfect for people who are staying in Paris and would like to venture out but are unsure how to go about it. Guest Kim Henry tells us how she organized her day trips and shares her advice. It’s important to note that Kim doesn’t speak a lot of French, yet she’s able to get around without much trouble at all. She tells us about her visit to Nancy, Château Malmaison, Monet’s Gardens at Giverny, Saint-Malo, Mont-Saint-Michel, Dinan, Chambord, Chenonceau, Cheverny, and Reims.

Paris Hotel Recommendation from Kim: I stayed at the Hôtel West-End Rue Clement Marot in the 8th, it was very close to Avenue Montaigne and the Champs Elysee and importantly, close to 2 metro stations.  I actually did loads of walking from my hotel over to the 7th, 9th, and 1st districts, it wasn’t far from the Seine either. Yes, I would highly recommend this hotel, the staff were lovely and upgraded me to a room with a view of the Eiffel Tower as I was staying 8 nights.

Places Mentioned on the Show: Nancy, Château Malmaison, Monet’s Gardens at Giverny, Saint-Malo, Mont-Saint-Michel, Dinan, Chambord, Chenonceau, Cheverny, and Reims.


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Visiting France with a Guide Dog for the Blind, Episode 55

Richard Wadwell and Ralph the Guide Dog
Richard Wadwell and his guide dog Ralph walking across the Champ de Juillet with the Gare Limoges Bénédictins in the background

Visiting France with a Guide Dog for the Blind

Today on Join Us in France we take a side trip into the wonderful world of guide dogs for the blind with Richard Wadwell, an Englishman and guide dog owner and who comes to France many times each year with his guide dog Ralph. Richard talks about what it’s like having a guide dog and shares wonderful tips on visiting France with or without a guide dog, in particular the Limoges area and Aix-en-Provence. And if you’re like me and you have great admiration for guide dogs and the work they do, this conversation will give you a glimpse into this amazing world. You can read more about Richard on his blog or follow him on Twitter @wadwellington. But if you need a laugh, you must follow @RalphGuideDog. And to follow Annie’s guide dog in training Igor follow  @EleveChienGuide on Twitter or Élève Chien Guide on Facebook. Enjoy!


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