Versailles and the Loire Valley châteaux
The châteaux of the Loire valley were unbelievable! The U.S. thinks of them as triple mansions. Before that, Versailles was HUGE, you can hardly see everything in a day, and it is so popular it is overcrowded. My mom kept losing me.
But you know, big is not always better. One of the smallest châteaux we saw was fully furnished (mom’s note: she is talking about Beauregard). It also had all these armors in it. Every room was furnished, just like it was then in the old days. My mom told us that because the lady of the château was nice to the villagers, they did not steal and destroy everything during the Revolution, or something like that.
But my favorite would have to be the one that expands over the water (mom’s note: she is talking about Chenonceaux)! The elegance of this castle was incredible. It also had two gardens that were breathtaking: one French and one English. I liked the French the most because it had all these pink roses and all that purple lavender. The English one was nice too but very formal.
Towards the end of our Loire Valley trip, my mom had these friends who LIVE in a château! We had lunch there with Sue and Paul, Sue is American, Paul is French and Sue speaks French soooo well! Of course she has lived in France for 40 years.
We visited the château and some rooms had damage from the storms last December. France had a big, big storm and a side of the château was damaged by water and there is a lot of work to do to replace plasters and carpets and floors. Sue said it was hard work keeping up the château! We had lunch downstairs, there were arches everywhere and it was cool down there. For being a château, it was such a homey place. Sue took us through the pôtager, that is a vegetable and herb garden. It had flowers too. But lots and lots of vegetables, enough for the whole little village I think! The garden was designed by someone famous, but I don’t remember who. It was really neat.
France may be a small country, but you will find so many exciting things within it!
The Mont St Michel
Mont St Michel was spectacular! You could see this rock long before there was a sign for it!
We arrived late in the afternoon so we stayed in a hotel right before the little road takes you to the Mont. It’s really out in the sea, but you can drive there!
We went to eat that night in this fancy restaurant right on the edge with this spectacular view of the Mont St Michel. My sister and I ordered what they call the omelette of Mont St Michel. Well, they served us what looked like soggy shaving cream, it was oozing and going all over the plate! It was so disgusting, you have no idea. The top was black, totally burned and the white stuff was turning into water. Of course, we couldn’t eat it but you know what, when the waiter came back he didn’t even ask why we hadn’t touched it? My mom waited until the bill and asked to see the Chef. The Chef didn’t come but they took the omelettes off the bill and gave us free ice cream. But I was so hungry but we didn’t want to wait for another dish. So we bought cookies on the way to the hotel. The butter cookies from Normandy are so good! But the view from the restaurant was really something!
The next day we went to see the Mont. The story behind the Mont St Michel was interesting. We bought bowls with our names on them. There are a lot of stairs! We ate at a cute restaurant and my sister had shrimps but when they came, they had pinchers on them! She almost had a heart attack! My mom had to peel them for her.