The city exploration of Blois was followed by a trip to the nearby Château de Chambord! If you want, go read the surprisingly elaborate Wikipedia article. To make it short, it’s one of the “most recognizable” châteaux in the world that was built in the 16th century, possibly also according to plans by Leonardo da Vinci (he’s everywhere!). It has a stunning 77 stairs, 282 chimneys and 426 rooms. As a present day visitor, you’ll walk through a couple of apartment rooms decorated in their original way, but in terms of exhibition, that’s basically it. However, admiring the building’s architecture, getting lost and climbing up to the roof is fun!
Especially the unique double-helix staircase is amazing. It consists of two spiral staircases with seperate exits that spiral around each other without ever meeting. Standing at their very base, I took a photo that is – in an artistic sense – probably one of the best or most particular photos I’ve taken so far.
Since we had to kill some five hours or more due to bad bus service – and since the castle itself can be done in two hours or less – I went on a little walk with two of my volunteer friends. What looks likes an enormous park surrounding the castle today used to be the hunting ground of it as it was mainly built as a hunting lodge, although a rather elaborate one. What caught my attention in particular were dead trees. They were everywhere in the river/swamp, creating a rather pathetic sight, their sharp, leafless silhouettes reflected perfectly by the water.