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After out three days in Nice, we got on yet another bus, for a fourteen hour bus ride to the city of Tours. When we arrived in Tours we checked into our hotel and I had my daily breakfast of orange juice and a croissant. After breakfast we got on another bus and traveled for an hour to the Loire Valley, where most of the castles and palaces are located in France. We first went to the Ch�teau of Chenonceau, a gorgeous castle situated over a river. After walking down a long path with tall trees lining the road, we emerged at the front door of a gorgeous white stone castle, complete with two gardens, and a hedge maze. After out visit at Chenonceau we went to the Ch�teau of Chambord, a massive 16th century castle, rumored to be designed be Leonardo da Vinci, this castle as a marvelous double-helix spiral staircase that winds all the way up to the roof. On the roof you can view forest landscapes or examine the architecture of the building closer. Once we were done at Chambord we went to the Chartres Cathedral, which is considered one of the finest examples of gothic architecture in all of France. Inside the cathedral we climbed the many hundreds of stairs to the topmost tower, which also provided us with a closer view of this fantastic piece of architecture. The stained glass windows are Chartres are among the greatest in the world, which are known for their vivid blue color. Upon seeing the blue, I was immediately transfixed and walked around examining each window until I finished. After leaving Chartres we returned to Tours and had ourselves a much needed night of sleep.


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