Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Enchanted Loire Valley castles

The Loire Valley in France is the home of fairytales with its fantasy castles and enchanted forests. You wouldn't want to leave that places ever!

Very famous and touristy Château de Chambord. It's an icon. Very impressive! In 1516, François I, king of France since 1515, came back from Italy with Leonardo da Vinci with a desire to create a large structure in the Italian Renaissance style. The hunting lodge chosen by François I in 1519 quickly turned into an immense architectural creation with lofty ambitions, a new “wonder of the world” destined to immortalise its creator, François I, the “architect prince”. This residence bears spectacular testimony to his two passions: hunting and architecture. To discover it, visitors must penetrate a dense and game-filled forest before, at its heart, discovering an architectural gem still that has remained intact.

Chambord had another important king, Louis XIV, who stayed at the castle on many occasions, sometimes accompanied by Molière's Company who would perform comedy-ballets accompanied with music composed by Lully for him.

Chateau du Moulin, "pearl of the Sologne". Built in 1492 for the Court for Philippe du Moulinl, companion of youth and captain of the king Charles 7th, the castle du Moulin reflects its towers in the water of its moats. Built on the plan of a feudal castle, it has preserved during the years the architectural value of a monument in the Franco-Italian art style, it remains a jewel of architecture. The castle is furnished and still inhabited.

Chateau de Cheverny. Finished in 1634, this Classicalchateau still belongs to a descendant of the original owner.

The grounds shelter the 18th-century Orangerie, where Leonardo da Vinci''s Mona Lisa was hidden during WWII:

The fragment of wooden ceiling:

Beautiful garden:

Chateau de Beauregard Was built around 1520 as a hunting lodge for Francois I. It contains a gallery with 327 portraits of royalty.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Streets of Montreal

Thursday, August 15, 2013

A few days in Bavarian fairy tale

Bavaria always was in my list to visit because of well known castles like Neuschwanstein or Linderhof Palace. But I never ever could imagine how beautiful is the nature, the mountains...people! We just grabbed last minute deals from my favorite site where we usually order hotels for our European and North American trips, and were not dissapointment this time as well.
Our major destination was Garmisch-Partenkirchen, a cozy mountain resort town in Bavaria located in southern Germany. Here are many photos from that lovely place!

Fantastic Deals on Global Cities: International Destinations

Not far from Garmisch located village of Ettal which became famous for tourists because of Benedictine monastery.

Ettal Abbey was founded on 28 April 1330 by Emperor Ludwig the Bavarian in the Graswang valley, in fulfilment of an oath on his return from Italy, on a site of strategic importance on the primary trade route between Italy and Augsburg.

Not only monastery you can see in that village. Very good restaurants and pleasant views as well !

The roads in Bavaria are amazing! You can see these views from your windshield!

If you continue to drive HW23 up north, you meet another picturesque village of Oberammergau which is also known as the home of a long tradition of woodcarving. Just walk along the streets and you will not be dissaponted!

Another pearl of our trip was Fussen, town on the border with Austria. Füssen was settled in Roman times, on the Via Claudia Augusta, a road that leads southwards to northern Italy. "Hohes Schloss" (High Castle) is the former summer residence of the prince bishops of Augsburg.

St Mang's Basilica and former monastery over the River Lech (look at the color of water in that river!)

Another sightseeing close to Fussen is very famous Neuschwanstein Castle in southwest Bavaria.The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as an homage to Richard Wagner.

In upper Bavaria there is rural pearl Scholderhof. We just found this place by accident but very very love beauty of that small castle! and look how amazing is surrounding nature!

And finally we arrived to Linderhof Palace. We tried to visit it twice because of bad rainy weather we needed to caome back to this number 1 castle in our listing. Linderhof Palace is located close to Ettal Abbey. It is the smallest of the three palaces built by King Ludwig II of Bavaria and the only one which he lived to see completed.