IMG_20170816_111846510_HDRThis is the first of two posts about my summer holiday in the Loire Valley.  It’s a long time since I’ve been to France, so I wanted to see a bit of the countryside and the culture as well as the place where we stayed.  We had a couple of day trips to Nantes, which has some very beautiful buildings and a good public transport system to access them.  We got off the tram at the Chateau d’Anne de Bretagne, one of the chateaux for which the Loire is famous.

Built between the 15th and 18th centuries, work on the castle was begun by the last Duke of Brittany, Francis II, but was continued by his daughter, Anne, who was twice queen of France.  It is a beautiful place, as you can see, but one of the things that was particularly nice about it was that you could walk round the grounds, but also round the walls, for free.  There is even a slide down the outside of the ramparts, and there are turtles in the moat!

By coincidence, this summer the chateau has been hosting an exhibition of pre-hispanic Colombian artefacts, called ‘The Spirits, Gold and the Shaman’. There were many lovely pieces, such as the ornaments of birds with separate feathers, but I was most impressed with the delicate filigree on items that were hundreds of years old!

Walking up to the castle, it looked strangely familiar.  When I got home and checked, I visited the castle on a school trip 20 years ago…