As I mentioned before, I made this photo during my very first Loire Valley trip in 1999. Being new to the region, we did everything by the (tourist) book: Chambord, Chenonceau, Cheverny … It was all very enriching an overwhelming. No wonder we returned year after year … 12 consecutive years to be precise. 2011 would have been our 13th visit, but we skipped it, fearing that it would bring bad luck (lol).
So this year’s visit will technically be our 14th! I know it’s cheating, but it’s done in many countries in the world where hotels don’t have a 13th floor.
But back to the antler room at Cheverny. When I came across the photo last week, I had some difficulties remembering where I took it. But then I found this photo in the same badge.
It’s a younger and blond version of me posing in front of the giant cedar tree in the grounds of Cheverny. It’s the same tree that Ken posted about here, when he did several posts on Cheverny last March. His visit and photos date from 2004, five years after our visit.
When you walk into the antler room your eyes are immediately drawn to the walls and the ceiling, the sight of the antlers being really overwhelming. You tend to forget to look down, until you almost stumble over the room’s main attraction. A large and ferocious looking crocodile – stuffed of course, but nevertheless looking very much alive and ready to devour the first tourist that comes within reach. If my memory serves me right, there are other hunting trophies hanging on the walls: wild boar, lion, buffalo … The masters of Cheverny didn’t limit their hunting to the castle grounds!
During that first and only visit we also went to see the dog pack. It was mid-afternoon and therefore too early to witness the famous ‘soupe des chiens’. This year I’m planning our day in such a way that we’ll in Cheverny around 3.30 p.m. This will give us sufficient time to visit the château and the grounds before the dogs’ supper at 5 p.m. It’ll be a first for me and my friends. Something to look forward to!
The two other photos I posted on Monday were the Château of Ussé, a.k.a. ‘Sleeping Beauty’s castle’ and the entrance to the Clos Lucé in Amboise where Leonardo Da Vinci spent the last years of his life. I may do a post on these later as they are also on this year’s to-do list.