During my trip to France I spent a day on my own in the city of Blois while the rest of the group went to Chenonceau castle, which I have seen twice before. My self-guided, on-foot tour began at the Chateau Royal. It sits up on a hill, as chateaus do, in order to have the best view of the countryside.
The chateau itself is beautiful but impossible to capture in one photo. The most stunning part of it’s structure is the elegant, spiral staircase.
While I was eating a sandwich outside on one of the chateau’s benches, I heard a commotion off to one side. Imagine my surprise to see animated dragon heads popping out of a building. La Maison de la Magie or House of Magic had come alive. Golden dragons roared and puffed steam, claws came out, and a tail waved through a small round window at the top. What a way to attract a crowd and entice tourists to see what wonders await inside. I thought it was better than anything in Vegas. The show went on for a few minutes. Then slowly the claws and tail went back into their windows. The heads drew in silently, and the windows closed, leaving the building looking like any other. Watch the dragons here: House of Magic
Next I walked through the commercial town center and up a very steep hill to the sixteenth century Gothic Blois Cathedral and the historical part of the city. The cathedral is currently undergoing restoration as you can see at the bottom of the photo.
On my way, I passed two groups of artists sketching this engaging passageway featuring half-timbered buildings.
I finished my city sojourn at La Fondation de Doute or The Foundation of Doubt which is worth a post all it’s own (next time) as you can see from the front views of the building. Fascinating and intriguing, n’est-ce pas?