With the timely visit of the 44th President of the United States of America in the Philippines, Mr. President, my uncle (just kidding) Barack Obama, I also remember my “royal” visit to one of the most “feel-good” places of all time – Loire Valley.
I mentioned in my post here how I dreamt of traveling to Disneyland. It was my kind of “la-la land” when I was a kid. Until now, I still haven’t been there yet but God made me experience something better.
Before heading to my first trip to Europe (one of the many miracles, read the intro to this blog series here) at 26 years old, my friend asked me if I want to go to Loire Valley. I didn’t have any idea where it was and what’s in that place. So, I googled it. I researched, read, and saw how picturesque Loire Valley is. All of a sudden, I was thrilled to the bones! I beamed with excitement just thinking about the place. And yes, of course, I agreed to go with her to this countryside of France.
From Paris, we took a TGV express train and journeyed for about an hour or so. It was my first time to commute with a heavy luggage and bag, which we need to carry from one train station to another, and up and down staircases. It was one of those days that I wished I were with a macho man who can carry our baggage for us. But I also realized that such circumstance is part of the fun and intensive work out when traveling.
Upon arrival to Loire Valley, my friend rented a car for the three of us. She loves to drive even in the crazy streets of Manila. So undoubtedly, she enjoyed all the more, driving to the beautiful landscape of the Loire region. It was certainly a treat for her except for some mini clashes that we had here and there, which I think made our journey more interesting.
I knew we’ll be walking a lot in our few days in Loire Valley, so instead of glass slippers, I wore my sturdy Mizuno (they didn’t sponsor me) running shoes. I was there for comfort and not for style. So I wore whatever I had to keep me warm for autumn. I didn’t mind the possible scrutiny of French fashion snobs.
Besides not being able to wear my glass slippers and my royal frock, I also forgot to bring my edible pumpkin ride. Maybe that’s why fairy godmother decided not to match me yet with the young and handsome Brad Pitt look-alike that I saw at a souvenir shop. I was already trying to play some basic French in my head, but I just didn’t have the guts to verbalize them to him. It wasn’t my style. I was too shy. 😉
Nevertheless, I also discovered that a true lady doesn’t need a man to bring her incredible joy. She just needs to open her eyes and see the blessing in the season. Fairy godmother wasn’t able to pair me with someone special on this trip, but I was definitely swept away by the love of my Abba Father, my King. I really felt like I was in the movie “Enchanted”, as I was visiting one château after another.
One of the châteaux that were unforgettable for me was Château de Cheverny. As I was walking at one of its rooms, which was quite dark for an afternoon, I suddenly heard a sound, “tok, tok, tok”. I looked around and saw no one in the room. I thought, “Who or what could it be?” Then the beating sound was there again, “tok, tok, tok.” I took another look and found this…
This made me laugh! The bird was knocking on the window until I took a photo of him. I felt like he was just trying to get my attention. Or perhaps to send a special message for me?
“The little bird reminded me to enjoy life and God’s blessings. To live life to the fullest.”
Beyond the fairy-tale experiences like this, I had so many reasons why I enjoyed Loire Valley so much. I felt like singing, dancing, and leaping to some classic Disney songs while wandering. I was also culturally satisfied by the immense amount of art and history that surrounds this region.
From its notably splendid châteaux (there are about 300 of them),
to historic towns,
and lush gardens,
there’s no doubt why a wide area of the Loire Valley is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Loire Valley is a serene, grand, and happy land that transported me to the time of French kings and aristocrats, and great artists like Leonardo Da Vinci.
I know that Leonardo Da Vinci was a genius but visiting his home and seeing the scale models of his (super advance) inventions made me realize the reality of his legacy. His work shows how exceptionally gifted he is.
It’s amazing to see a lot of beautifully made and detailed tapestries, antiques, and other artworks around each grand château.
I extremely enjoyed my time in Loire Valley. Out of 300 unique and impressive châteaux that Loire Valley displays, I only got to see a few of them. For some, these châteaux and gardens may all look similar, but for me each has its own character and beauty. (Although, maybe if I’ll stay here for more than a week, I’ll also think the same.)
I can’t picture myself living in such an extravagant château for a long time. But I’m thinking, if people can build such enormous and grandiose castles, and grow well-groomed and colorful gardens on earth… I wonder… how much more magnificent and splendid are our eternal mansions and lavishly prepared our heavenly views are? In that place, I look forward to and can surely live.
Just a thought…
I enjoyed my Autumn Love in Loire Valley. It gave me a taste of aristocracy, history, and arts . Three days is such a short time to visit. So next time I get the chance to travel in this area again, I’d love to see more vineyards, drink wine, and ride bicycles.
17 Cities in 7 Years… one of which is a divine travel to Loire Valley, France.
Bucket List: ☑ To be more cultured ☑ To see the Mona Lisa (not the real one yet) ☑ To see Brad Pitt (look-alike) ☑ To visit real castles ☑ Learn more about Leonardo da Vinci ☑ To eat real French bread ☑ Travel with friends ☑ To travel in Europe ☑ To fall in love