Orléans et Blois

From tourists’ point of view, Paris sometimes seems to be an alternative name of the country France. Although this capital city houses four UNESCO World Heritage Sites and has long been known as one of the world’s leading travel destinations and major global cities, there are in fact a lot more to explore beyond the region. I had a happy 2-week vacation in August with my family in Orléans during which we visited Château de Chambord and Château de Blois that are both located around 1-hour drive southwest from Orléans, not to mention the joy of spending all those nice times with my beloved family, especially my mom, who were all perfect caring hosts of accommodation, wonderful parties, small gatherings, short trips, etc.

Château de Chambord 

Château de Chambord,  a picture from Wikipedia
Orléans is a city located on the Loire River and about 1.5 hour drive southwest of Paris. There is a small city center packed with a mall, shops, restaurants, and some attractions like Orléans Cathedral and Orléans City Hall, but still I couldn’t find anything touristic, nor typical tourists with backpacks and photographing equipments were seen. However, Orléans is a point of departure, or a stop in the middle of a journey to those notable castles situated on the Loire. Château de Chambord, one of the biggest, is an extraordinary beauty. Since renovations were in progress in one side of the front, we got a nicest view at the back of the castle across the river Cosson. Château de Chambord is way prettier when seen from outside, because top floors of which have become exhibition areas for commercial purposes.

Château de Blois 

Château de Blois
Blois is a city in central France, situated on the banks of the lower river Loire between Orléans and Tours. Unlike Orléans, Blois is like a little lovely town that I would consider a travel destination. Apart from the Château de Blois, a Renaissance château in the center of the city, there is La Maison de la Magie Robert-Houdin, or The House of Magician Robert-Houdin, a museum in front of the castle, which incorporates collections of magic and a site for permanent performing arts. Château de Blois comprises several buildings constructed from the 13th to 17th century around the main courtyard. In contrast to the Chambord, the inside of this castle is rather surprising. There are fine painted decoration on walls and beamed ceilings. All rooms are well preserved.