Find me on
As this European vacation series comes to an end in its final part, I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my travels and are inspired for your next vacation. In Part One I covered our time in England, in the second part I discussed our first stint in Paris, and just a few days ago I published over 1,000 words on our time in Lyon and the Loire Valley in Part Three. I’ll leave you with one more chateau and some images from David’s and my portrait session in Paris for today’s Part Four.
Departing our Airbnb in Tours around ten this morning, David and I journeyed straight to Château de Chambord, easily the most epic and large property we visited in the Loire Valley. The architecture of Chambord contains many medieval influences in its predominantly French Renaissance style. Every single detail of the interior and exterior made me feel like I was transported to a different century.
Similar to our experience at the grand Château de Blois, we felt so overwhelmed with the size of the property that we lost our tracks a few times. The map and layout are a little confusing, as there is a main double helix staircase that runs through the center of the prominent portion of the chateau and many floors to explore that all contain multiple rooms. Some of these rooms branch off into other parts of the structure, so missing a room or accidentally visiting the same room twice were definitely both things we did!
We had asked a tourist to take our photo in front of Chambord and it looked great on the back of the camera. Once we came home, I discovered that we were out of focus. The one photo we have together outside of our portrait session is not even in focus :( Oh well!
We left Chambord shortly after lunch to venture back to Paris. I had originally planned for us to visit Versailles this day, but it isn’t open on Mondays (many places in France are closed Mondays, so plan accordingly!). Thankfully, we still had fun plans to briefly tour the Sacre Coeur, which unfortunately prohibits interior images and I didn’t want to be that guy who does so anyway. I do have some iPhone and film images from the exterior of this insanely crowded place.
Oh, also, this iPhone snippet of our Airbnb elevator must be seen. It was as wide as I am, shoulder to shoulder. The alternative was taking a spiral staircase to the fifth floor with our luggage. It was such a tight fit, I nearly had a panic attack and was so thankful I am a small person. I might have died if the elevator got stuck and I couldn’t turn around!
With an early start to the day at 4:00am, I woke up to let in the lovely hair and makeup artist Trine Juel into our apartment. She was as equally amused with the size of the elevator as I was! Trine was also the makeup artist for the Parisian rooftop shoot I showed a sneak peek of in Part Two. Stay tuned for lots of goodies from that day soon. For now, here are some of my favorite shots that Abby Grace captured of David and me at Palais Royal, the Louvre, and a bridge with a glorious view of the Eiffel Tower.
Following our shoot, we ate breakfast/lunch before driving west to visit the Palace of Versailles. Out of every single place we visited, this one was the most densely crowded. The line for tickets took 20 minutes and had we had the patience to wait to enter the Palace, we would have stood in line for 90 minutes. David and I opted to tour the gardens and save the Palace for our next trip. This place honestly needs a full day (from open to close) to see everything it has to offer without rushing.
Following a very loooong walk from the main Palace toward the Petite Trianon, we wished we had rented a golf cart for this place. The Petite Trianon is about as far of a walk as you can take at Versailles and I’d recommend getting a cart for anyone at the end of their trip! Initially we were thinking it was a bit silly to rent a cart for people who are more capable of walking – but in the end we realized it is definitely a smart choice to cover more ground and definitely so if you’re visiting at the end of a vacation full of walking.
Early this morning, David and I departed Paris to head back home to San Diego. We flew to Toronto then to LA, where we hopped a very late train back to San Diego. Needless to say, we were quite ready to see our cats. I hope you all enjoyed this series. Be sure to let me know your favorite site in the comments below!