We have been M.I.A for a while but we are back… for now at least 🙂
Checking in from: Copenhagen, Denmark
We arrived this morning at 6.30 am, after 24+ hours of travelling. The flight and transit was great. We arrived feeling rested and fresh: the first time EVER on a long-haul flight.
After a VERY quick freshen up at the hotel, we hit the town. We walked and walked and walked….
We will leave you with a photo from today which really sums up Copenhagen: Nyhaven.
We were towards the end of our New Zealand South Island driving holiday. After several stops along the way, we finally made it to Arthur’s Pass National Park from Hokitika. It was late afternoon by this time and we still had to find where we were staying but at the same time, we didn’t want to miss out on the opportunity for at least a walk in the National Park.
So we settled on seeing the Devil’s Punchbowl Falls. After parking the car, we could hear the water before we caught a glimpse. After weaving through some trees, we crossed a suspension bridge before climbing gradually to the viewing platform. The views around were so spectacular. It was an easy-moderate 1-hour return walk to the platform and we were not disappointed. Gosh, we love waterfalls, no matter how big or small – though the teeny trickly ones are disappointing. (We should probably add that we are yet to see the likes of Niagara, Iguazu or Victoria, so if we are blown away by any waterfalls… imagine what will happen when we see the real BIG names in waterfalls).
So after returning to the car following the bush walk, we made our way through the winding road to our accommodation for the night. We chose to stay in the heart of the National Park in a little roadside motel. And surrounding us were mountains as far as the eye could see! It was isolated, peaceful and with no wi-fi. We made good use of their foosball table 😉 Open up our curtains and the view was a wee bit surreal for us…We had to go for a walk in the evening to see that it was for real.And it was a full moon that night.
Have you visited Arthur’s Pass National Park?
Drop us a comment.
The moment we drove up the highway and laid eyes on it… we were speechless! Water so blue, on a day where the sky was brilliantly blue. Sweeping mountainous backdrops. Yep…. no words can describe the sheer beauty.
And so, we won’t even try to use words… We do hope however our favourite photos of Lake Tekapo can do it some justice.
Lake Tekapo during the day:
Lake Tekapo at dusk:
Where have you been that has left you speechless?
We want to hear about a place you have been to where you were so overwhelmed with its beauty. Tell us here.
This is our final instalment for the series and we are featuring:
Chateau de Chenonceau
Possibly one of, if not, the most famous chateau in the region. We didn’t purposefully save it for last, it was in fact the last one we saw.
Back in 2006, Chenonceau was the only one we were able to see so on our return trip, we wanted to make sure to see some others but also come back to the one that started it all for us.
So what is so special about it?
It is built over the River Cher – literally and had also had some rather famous inhabitants. And not to mention that it is rather a treat to explore.
Easily the busiest one we visited as well.
Let’s revisit a bit of what we mentioned in the Chaumont post about this one.
Diane de Poitiers lived in Chenonceau. Catherine de Medici lived in Chaumont. Catherine de Medici traded houses with Diane de Poitiers.
Each of the ladies contributed to the architecture work that can be seen on the house today.
A quick tour of the place will see us taking you to …
* Diane de Portier’s bedroom – with the symbolic 4-poster bed and 2 large tapestries from the 16th Century. Oddly enough, her room is where the portrait of Catherine De Medici is housed, hung above the fireplace.
* the Gallery – located in the bridge that you see in the above picture. The end of the gallery are two fireplaces on either side of the South door which opened to the left bank of River Cher.
Wise Monkey Trivia – During the First World War, the chateau was set up as a hospital (by its owner), the gallery was an access point. During the Second World War, the River Cher was the “line of demarcation” as such, the gallery was used to pass large numbers of people into the free zone.
* the kitchens – built in the bases forming the first two piers built in the bed of the River Cher. Looking out the window, we see the “arch legs of the chateau” and the River Cher below.
* Louis XIV’s Drawing Room – another ornate fireplace with the Salamander of Francois I (as previously shown in Chambord) and a Stoat for Queen Claude of France.
* Catherine de Medici’s bedroom – with the finely carved 4-poster bed and furniture. The tapestries housed in this room are rare and fascinating. The borders of the tapestries are filled with animals symbolising proverbs and fables.
And from the first floor, look out the windows! To the left, we see Catherine’s garden.
To our right, we see Diane’s garden.
Yet another unique and extravagant chateau with such jaw-dropping architecture. As we often say, we would love to be a fly on the wall back in the day – simply so we could see how every day life was and to see the historical figures in action!
That winds up our 8-part series of the Chateaux we saw in the Loire Valley; 8 of a vast amount in the region (not all of which are open to the public though).
Now that we have showcased the 8 in a bit more detail and you’ve glimpsed the inside….
Do you have a favourite chateau?
If you commented on the original post, have you changed your mind?
Feel free to leave us a comment.