Trip Start Mar 04, 2003
Trip End Mar 20, 2003

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Flag of France  ,
Monday, March 17, 2003

 We took the buses to Chambord today. It is beautiful here.The chateau is huge.  

The royal Château de Chambord at Chambord, Loir-et-Cher, France is one of the most recognizable châteaux in the world because of its very distinct French Renaissance architecture that blends traditional French medieval forms with classical Italian structures.  

It is the largest castle in the Loire Valley, but was built to serve only as a hunting lodge for King François I, who maintained his royal residences at Château de Blois and at Château d'Amboise.  

The stables are fully operational and they were shoeing the horses while we were there. The carriages that were used for Francois and other Kings and Queens of France are intriguing. The property is huge and there are some shops and restaurants on the land.

Here is a little video of the Chateau

We went to a little shop that sold locally produced honey, jellies, wines and cheeses. While we were there we got to see the ugly side of tourism. This woman came in. She very loudly screamed at the cashier "Do you speak English?" No bonjour madame, no Parle vou Anglaise. The woman seemed abrasive to me and she was speaking my first language. I can only imagine how she sounded to the clerk. She didn't wait for an answer before she brayed "how much is this?" Then she made some rude comment and left. Those are the people that enforce that stereotype of the Ugly American. We tried to do damage control. We went up with our purchase and said "Bonjour Madame, Parle vou Anglaise?" She responded wee. We talked about the shop. She told us about the sheep that they sheared for the wool products in the shop and the local bee keeper that made the honey. So with a little courtesy we got a beautiful memory of a conversation with a shop owner in Chambord, a real taste of France.
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