The plan for today was to rise before dawn and make it to Chateau de Chambord in order to take some sunrise shots. I had read somewhere that this would be a spectacular sight and that the Chateau would appear to be rising out of the mist as day broke.
Le Grand Hotel de l’Abbaye had agreed to provide me with an early breakfast, I had checked on google maps where the best location to the get prize shot would be and even brought a torch and a swiss army knife. Don’t ask me what I was going to do with the swiss army knife but it always seems to come in handy for something.
This really was a big adventure, I would have to fumble around in the dark and sit and wait for the sun to rise, basically I had thought of everything, well that is what I thought. Whilst taking some sunset shots the night before I discovered that the tripod mount for my tripod was on my old camera! Damn it – I drove to the next town, navigating round-abouts and Christmas shoppers only to discover the only big department store in town had every camera accessory you could need except a mount for a tripod.
Instead I admired the view from the dining room at Le Grand Hotel de l’Abbaye and had a leisurely breakfast of meats, cheeses a selection of breads and pastries and honey tended to by the local nuns.
Chateau de Chambord didn’t disappoint, despite my failed sunrise. With so many add ons over the centuries by various residents the Chateau resembles something from a Walt Disney production and the narrow misty roads made the drive a feast for the eyes, although the distant gun shots were a bit worrying.
Chateau de Chambord is nothing short of spectacular, although I was disappointed about my failed sunrise shot, in hindsight, I am not sure how I would have navigated the unlit dark narrow roads, so perhaps it was a blessing in disguise. I spent hours exploring every nook and cranny. Climbing the famous double spiral staircase and almost running the camera battery flat due to so many photo opportunities but I had to keep moving, another castle awaited me and I had a train to catch back to Paris.
The next castle on the list was back in the quaint town of Blois where my short adventure first began.
Chateau de Blois was only a 15km drive away and by this stage my two travelling companions the female voice of the GPS and my Paris Adele French Driving Aid and myself were all getting along swimmingly! We were a great team, no head on accidents, no side swiping parked cars on the very narrow roads, all was well and I felt confident now navigating the busier town of Blois that was until my GPS travelling companion informed me in the middle of a one-way dead end street ‘you need to park the car and walk to your destination’ – great, a bit late to tell me that now but as luck would have it, I found a spot in the busy little street.
Reverse parking is a skill I am not too bad at but parking on the right side in a narrow alley is a little more tricky, especially when the GPS insisted on repeating over and over ‘you need to park the car’ – I told her to shut the @#*# up! Although she had been a great help, she was starting to get on my nerves and her bad attempt at French pronunciation made it difficult to understand the street names, I could feel this relationship was coming to an end.