Warm brioches, croissants, home made jams, plump french strawberries, eggs with yolks the color of sunrises; we are recharged and ready to explore…starting with a leisurely stroll in the Bois markets…

And what a sensory overload! Stalls bulging with big bunches of white asparagus, plump tomatoes and artichokes next to oysters still in their shells, voluptuous bunches of roses for €6, fluffy peonies, freesias…and a young jazz band belting out blues brothers at the foot of steps leading to a Palace…we love it! Of course, being foreigners in this little piece of the French world certainly adds to our ‘joie de vivre’.

Next an exploration20110503-101931.jpg of Chateau Cheverny, located in Sologne near Blois. Now we are in awe…what a spectacular building, long yet shallow, each room filled with rich tapestries, opulent furnishings and an amazing history as one would expect of a home of this ancestry. This magnificent place has been in the Hurault family for 6 centuries, they live in one wing. Reminds me very much of Franz Josef’s palace in Vienna.

Follow this up with the even bigger Chambord Palace, Jewel of the French Renaissance which embodied first Francois the 1st’s power then Louis XIV. We are fascinated by the roof turrets, their lack of symmetry adding to our intrigue. The estate covers 5440 hectares and preserves it’s flora and fauna, am happy about that.

Finish this beautifully sunny day back at our B&B, the beautiful Moulin des Charmes by sharing a feast of baguette, fromage, jambon and Champagne…followed by warm baths, fluffy robes and our big feather beds. Tomorrow we head further south into the Cognac region.

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