March 23, 2021

Château de Chambord

King François I built a huge Renaissance palace as his country getaway in the Loire Valley. From its humble origins as a hunting lodge, Château de Chambord became a symbol of the French king's power. Today the palace sits within the largest enclosed park in Europe, a forested domain that is home to deer and wild boar. Here's a peek inside the imposing château, from the double-helix staircase thought to have been inspired by Leonardo da Vinci to the carvings of the monarch's personal emblem, the salamander.

Château de Chambord

February 28, 2021

Tours: Heart of the Loire Valley

A good home base for exploring the many grand châteaux of the Loire Valley is the city of Tours. One hour from Paris via high-speed TGV train, the region's largest city is also set amidst the valley's much humbler troglodyte homes. And I had the opportunity to dine in one of these fascinating caves.

Town Hall, Tours

January 25, 2021

Angers: Gateway to the Loire Valley

The city of Angers on the Maine River in western France is a gateway to the Loire Valley and its many beautiful châteaux. A quick lunch stop in Angers gave me an opportunity to explore the city's medieval centre with its impressive 13th-century castle, Château d'Angers, and a cathedral constructed in a mix of Romanesque and Gothic styles, Cathédral Saint-Maurice.

The French City of Angers on the Maine River

January 18, 2021

Mont Saint-Michel

One of the world's top pilgrimage sites is a small island off the coast of Normandy, France.  An important destination for Christians for over a thousand years, Mont Saint-Michel continues to draw throngs of visitors and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Mont Saint-Michel, Normandy