Wednesday, May 12:  The Great Hunting Lodge

Today I woke up, and started typing, until everybody else was done, and wanted to go to breakfast. I got ready, and then walked into the main part of the hotel, and into the restaurant. We grabbed our table, and the waiter came. He offered us some drinks, and I chose hot chocolate, while my parents got their coffee. The only thing to eat was some bread on the table, and some cheeses and jams. I grabbed a baguette, and spread butter on it, and it was good because the baguette wasn’t like a rock. I tried some “Laughing Cow Cheese”, and didn’t like it, so my mom happily ate it, and then I tried some other cheese, and it was great, like swiss cheese. After we all finished, we went back out and to the room. My mom and brother wanted to go to the Leonardo da Vinci house, and my dad wanted to go to the internet place again. I didn’t know which to choose, but Mom said the house probably wouldn’t be interesting, so I went with dad. We walked to the same place, to find it pretty empty, so I got a machine. I played around, but it was hard. The man gave me an English keyboard (querty, not qaerty), but that just made it more difficult, because even though the keys were layed right, it was a French computer, so when I pressed “A” it showed “Q”, and vice-versa. It was slow, but I still had fun. My dad was done, so we walked back, taking the scenic route. We went down the other direction of the main drag, to pop out in front of a church with a nice big lawn. We walked inside, and peered around. It was a cool church, with a huge organ, lots of stained glass, and a Baroque altar. We then left, and kept walking. My dad needed a good map of Paris, so we dropped in a bookstore overlooking the river, and he found a nice pocket one. We payed, then filed out. THEN, he needed some orange juice, so we stopped in a supermarket, and got a whole liter for only 60 cents of a Euro! Then we walked back across the bridge, and to home.

We were surprised to see that Mom and Robert weren’t home, so I typed up Robert’s journal for him (he wrote his on paper, but still wanted it on the web). They arrived shortly after, but wanted to go to lunch right after, but I hadn’t finished, so they went, while I worked. They came back with our lunch in their hands, and we all ate in the garden. I got a pizza and an eclair. The pizza was very full of raw tomato, and the eclair was delicious. It was also a very nice meal. Then we were finally going to get out somewhere, so we all piled in the car and drove off. The first stop was Chambord, a hunting lodge. We got into the huge walled park, and parked up to the amazing structure. It was huge! It said that it had 400 rooms, and 365 fireplaces, and I had no doubt. It also had many chimneys, and gave it a pointy look. It overlooked a nice canal, with a big lawn. My mom didn’t feel the need to go inside, so everyone else went to the ticket office. The tickets were cheap, and we were free, so that was great, and we walked in. I could see a huge spiral staircase, and many rooms around. There were three floors, and rooms all around the central staircase, and eventually leaded there. We walked through the first floor rooms, which were very decorative, but with hardly any furniture, and looped back. The we noticed that it was a double spiral staircase, so one was up, and one was down. In the center was a little circle to stand in and look up to the top ceiling, and you could look at the people down there from the little windows. On the second floor, it was more homey, with bedrooms mostly. Nothing interesting, so we went to the third floor.

We followed the rooms out on a little balcony, and then in through another door, to find ourselves in a long hallway with tons of deer heads! There were so many it was a little gross. Then we went up to the outside viewing, to see a great view of the backyard, though bigger than most! We walked all around, and then facing the front, and we could see mom sitting at a cafe. It was cloudless and sunny, and very hot today, so it was perfect. Afterwards, we walked back along the trail, and met up with Mom. My mom saw a little bike rental, and she wanted to bike some, because it was so nice and we haven’t ridden for a while. We found some to our liking, and then sped off, to the side of the chateau. We followed a path along the canal, and then right, on the bridge, and forward, to find ourselves on a red road in the trees. Being careful of the cars, we followed the road up, stopped, and turned around and back to the bridge. We decided to go back on the other side of the canal, but that turned out to be a bad idea. At the end of the stretch was a gate, and it was locked. sigh. We went back, crossed the bridge, and went back the original way, and to the shop. We deposited our bikes just in time (we got an hour), and then got back in the overheated car, and drove on. We were planning on going inside another big chateau, Cheverny, but it was practically closed, so we just drove by it. It was very big, and painted all white, which I liked. It kinda looked like a big Figeac! That was our last stop, so we drove home, where I did homework, until dinner.

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Photo 271  A Falcon
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Photo 272  A Bridge on the Loire River at Night
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Photo 273  Chambord, the Lodge With Many Chimneys
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Photo 274  The Inside of a Double Spiral Staircase