Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Cheverny - The "Modern" Chateau 7-17-09

I don't know if it was luck or good timing, but it rained during our hour long leg of the trip to Cheverny, but it quit just as we got there. Cheverny was our third, and final, stop on our tour. It was the "newest" of the chateaux we visited, and it is privately owned, as is Chenonceau. The difference is that the owners still use part of the estate occasionally. In fact, one week the entire chateau was closed to the public as the father closed it down to prepare to have his daughter's wedding there. Must be nice!

Cheverny had a great deal of different architectural styles. Some were quite ornate (Renaissance) and others were more simple. What fascinated me the most (and this is really weird) were the beautiful flower arrangements throughout the house. Here we are with all this history and beauty ... and I'm looking at flowers.

Of all the castles, this one seemed to be the most livable. You could tell what most of the rooms were used for. There was even a room set aside for the king, in case he ever came to visit. No one was allowed to stay in that room (it was beautiful). Unfortunately for the Count of Cheverny, the king never did come to his chateau! So the room was never inhabited.

Before we left, we had to go see the famous Cheverny hounds. They are a mixture of two dogs. They keep a kennel of 60 on the grounds, and the only people allowed to own the dogs are very rich families who are known to be hunters. These dogs are out until about 5 p.m. for people to see. They watch the people as much as the people watch them. Oh, the baying that went on while I stood there! A group of scouts (French) were there, climbing up on the fence to get a better look, and the hounds just went nuts.

After Cheverny, we settled in for our 3 hour trip back to Paris. Almost everyone fell asleep, as the guide had predicted. When we got to Paris, though, we woke up as our way back took us along the river and we got to see a lot of the great sites again ... like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, etc. Au revoir, France!

The hunting hounds of Cheverny.

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