A couple weekends ago, I went to the Loire Valley with a bunch of friends. We stayed in Tours and did a tour of all of the beautiful chateaux (castles) there. Somehow I’ve narrowed down these few pictures from the 400 I took, so enjoy!

The first place we visited was Amboise, which is in the background of this first picture (in about the middle):

When we arrived, all the people at the castle were out to lunch. Here’s my friends in front of the entrance (from left to right Michael, Erica, and Supraja):
We also went to Clos Luce, which is in the same town. It was the last place where Leonardo Da Vinci lived when Francois the first, king of France, was his patron. We couldn’t take pictures inside, but there were life-sized versions of his inventions for kids to play with, so we couldn’t help ourselves…:

The second day was the giant round of chateau. The first was Azay-le-Rideau, which was beautiful despite the early hour:

And a picture of me by a window inside Azay-le-Rideau:

Next was Villandry, which had the most beautiful gardens I’ve ever seen in February. Here’s the castle and a little bit of the gardens:

And me with the vegetable garden:

That afternoon, we headed to Chambord, which was truly gigantic. They even had a hunting museum inside! Here’s me, Supraja, and Michael on the roof:

And finally Cheverny. It was apparently in the Tintin comic books, which are insanely popular in France. Here’s the Tintin comic that was displayed inside the chateau:

And here’s me with the chateau itself:

And of course me with Tintin and his dog:

The next day we only went to one chateau, but that was plenty. It was Chenonceau, a beautiful chateau with extensive, beautiful gardens and a moat that’s really connected to a major river. Here’s a view from the side of the long enclosed bridge:

And another shot of the whole chateau from one of the gardens:

And what I believe is the Diane de Portiers garden: