Chambord and Clos Lucé

We stayed up last night until two in the morning (with the kids), and it seemed to work.  I woke up at 10:00 am today, and Neil and the kids slept until 12:30.  So, after finally getting showered and out of the house, we went to Chambord.  It is the biggest of the castles in the Loire Valley with something like 440 rooms.

The coolest thing about this chateau is the central double spiral staircase designed by Leonardo da Vinci.  It’s hard to describe, but this staircase connects all four floors of the castle, and the two intertwined spirals are opposite each other, yet both lead to the same point.  There are openings through which you can see people going up and coming down the other staircase without ever crossing paths.  It’s like a double helix. 

The core is hollow, so light comes in to the castle from the windows at the very top.

There is a massive balcony/terrace almost at the top of the castle with a beautiful view of the surrounding forests.  This is the tower at the top of the double staircase and a separate exterior staircase.

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Neil and the kids had an ice cream before we headed out.

From Chambord, we headed back to Amboise to visit Close Lucé, Leonardo da Vinci’s last home.  There is a secret underground tunnel thatleads from da Vinci’s house to the Amboise castle.

Spooky!  There are also models of all of da Vinci’s inventions, and then huge versions of them outside in the gardens.

There was also a playground with this crazy fun contraption.

Not sure exactly what we are doing tomorrow, but we are definitely going to the famous Bigot Patisserie and hopefully some wine tasting.  Bonne Nuit!

© Knstrong 2013