A couple weeks ago, we drove up to Chinon to check out the town. It’s about an hour’s drive from Loches, nestled beside the Vienne river right near the Loire. We didn’t really know what to expect of the town. Of course, being a Sunday, we did find it mostly quite quiet, with the weekly market just finishing up in the square as we arrived. We wandered up the road to an elevator (!!!) leading to the château and forteresse, perched up on the hill above.
Now you may think that we’ve seen enough châteaux to last us a lifetime, and I admit it is coming close to that point! But that being said, when we go back home this summer, I have no doubt that we will greatly miss rounding a bend in the road and finding ourselves gazing at centuries-old towns with ancient stone castles perched along the river.
La Forteresse de Chinon was a little different than what we’ve seen before as far as presentation. The interior is cleared out instead of being set up with furniture, and there are some films to watch to learn about it’s lengthy history. It was built no later than the 10th century, and inhabited by Henry II, King of England, who lived there with his family, including future King Richard the Lionheart.
The dungeon is dug quite far beneath the ground, winding staircases leading down below to various chambers and cells. We climbed the clock tower and walked around the parapet walk, where we were met with incredible panoramic views of the town and vineyards below.
After visiting the forteresse, we wandered down through the winding cobbled streets to check out the medieval part of town. One of my favourite things to see in France are the beautiful metal signs hanging outside shops and businesses.
On our way home, I made Derek stop a couple times to let me jump out and take photos of the flooded river valley. I love the way the trees look as if they’re growing right out of the river. Striking in the fading light of day.
I have a little catching up still to do on the blog. We went to Paris and Disney last weekend, so I will try to post a few more before we head off on our next adventure on Saturday — up to Scandinavia for two weeks! I am so excited. Design heaven!