Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Loire - Ussé and Chinon

After leaving caveman land, we made a childhood dream of JJ's come true and drove to Sleeping Beauty's Castle. The real one. More or less. Château d'Ussé is the real building on which the castle in the story of Sleeping Beauty was based (as written by Charles Perrault). Seeing it from the road was indeed impressive and stunning. Because of both vocal and written reports that the interior was in bad shape and not very accommodating to guests, we didn't go in. Sawyer did find a fun tree to play under by the road though.

Next we continued on to Chinon. Chinon is a fun little town in the Loire which is overlooked by an old castle. We arrived during market day and had a good (though cold) taste of French open-air markets outside the city. Here JJ and my mom are shopping for scarves.
After our shopping ended and we rested a bit, we went for a visit of the Château de Chinon, an old castle with a rich history. It was a lot of fun to walk through, with towers, dungeons, and state rooms abounding. But this château/castle had some added fun in that it was recently renovated and reopened. Instead of simple plaques detailing history or funny-looking scaled models of people, battles, pieces of equipment... throughout the chateau were videos transmitted onto walls, fireplaces, and ceilings which showed some of the history. Things like visits of kings, requests for aide from Joan of Arc, and midnight battles came to life inside. For a slightly less-than-overly-interested history buff (read: don't care much about history) like myself, this was a fantastic idea! I recommend it, if you're ever in Chinon.

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