We went to Chambord Monday afternoon. Chrissou had seen it before, but her husband hadn't. For me, it was the umpteenth visit, but Chambord in good weather never disappoints.
It had been a long and busy day, with walks in villages and at the Château de Chenonceau in the morning, and then a lunch at home of melted raclette cheese with boiled potatoes, steamed broccoli, Paris ham, button mushrooms, and French saucisson sec.
We arrived at Chambord fairly late in the afternoon. I decided to have a seat and just watch the sunlight play on the big château. And watch the people— the ones sitting at tables nearby, the ones riding bicycles and walking by.
There's a hotel on the grounds at Chambord. It's not expensive, and it's not un établissement de luxe. It's a two-star inn, and a lot of the rooms have the view of the château that you see in these pictures. You can stay there for less than 150€ a night, in a room with the view.
The hotel also has a café-restaurant with a big outdoor seating area. I took a table, ordered a glass of Chardonnay from the Cher Valley (one of our local wines), and rested my ankle. My camera got a workout, though. My friends went for a long stroll around the château, to see it from all angles.
The Château de Chambord was built near the royal town of Blois in the early 1500s, during the reign of French king Francis the First. He was « le bon roi François » to people here in the Loire Valley who, 500 years later, still speak of him with admiration and affection.