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January 16, 2019

France: Château de Chenonceau

Visitors enter Château de Chenonceau

“We’ve been here before.”

Stepping into the grounds of Château de Chenonceau in France’s Loire Valley Becky and I immediately realized that we’d been there before. It had to happen sometime. We’ve been so many places in France it was inevitable that we would accidentally make a return visit to a place we’d already seen. This was the day that it happened.

Château de Chenonceau extends across the Cher River.

Becky chalked the mistake up to my not fully updating the Anotherheader blog. But the truth is that Chenonceau is in fact mentioned in the blog’s 2010 Loire Valley entry. It’s just that there were no pictures. As every one knows, if there are no pictures it didn’t happen. Neither of us had bothered to read the text, like most of the blog’s readers, I’m sure.

In any event our memories obviously needed a refresher and we had paid the admission price so we toured the famous château and its grounds again.


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We usually don’t visit of the major European tourist sights in August. There’s always been the perception that everything will be crowded as everyone in all of Europe is on vacation. It wasn’t until this day that we could attest that this is in fact true. Chenonceau was overwhelmed with visitors. Oddly there seemed to be a particularly high number of Italians. Perhaps the Catherine de Medici’s connection to Chenonceau motivates Italians to visit? Who knows?

There was something else we learned about August. The week of Assumption Day, the 15th of August, is one of the busiest of the season. Château Chenonceau’s website announced in advance that there would be no audio guides rented out because it was going to be too busy. That was a warning we could have heeded but didn’t.


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Another thing we learned about Château Chenonceau is dogs on leash are welcome to come along. Indeed signs encourage you to bring your canine and feline companions in with you on the visit. Gigi was happy to oblige and was more than willing to come along to sniff the grounds.

Dog and cats are even allowed into the château itself, as long as they are carried in hand or in a carrier. Sadly the idea lugging sixty pounds of squirming canine through three stories of a roving blockade of tourists wasn’t appealing to Gigi, Becky, or I. We all decided that it was best for one dog parent to wait outside with Gigi while the other toured the inside of the château.


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In this respect it was fortunate that we’d been to Chenonceau before and that the rooms were packed to the gills with surging masses of humanity. It meant that neither of us was remotely inclined to linger and read the details on the information plaques. Under the circumstances, we were both happy with no more than a quick refresher visit.

The truth is Gigi didn’t think the Chenonceau was such a big deal; the crowds put her off too. Gigi was particularly disappointed that she couldn’t go inside. She knew there were cats in there. The sign said there were. This was definitely a security situation that Gigi felt she needed to check out.

1 Comment »

  1. Lovely to see Gigi featured in so many photos.

    Comment by ianmccauley2014 — January 28, 2019 @ 8:32 am

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