Euro Trip 2008 Part 3 – Chateau Chenonceau and La Benjamine

By - November 26, 2008 (Updated: December 3, 2014)

Read Euro Trip 2008 Part 1 and Part 2

Loire1008-125.jpgBright and early on the following chilly morning, we arrived at our second Loire Valley castle – the Château de Chenonceau. This is one of the most photographed castles in the Loire, due to its unique construction over the River Cher.

I was excited to photograph the castle reflected in the river but there was one slight flaw in my plan. The castle was under construction. It’s the bane of the travel photographer’s existence but it’s also a necessary evil. So I did what I could to compose around the staging and I’m happy with the results… It would have been nice to get the whole chateau but it gives me a great excuse to go back.

Chenonceau was as beautiful inside as out and the gardens, although not as extensive as those at Villandry, were still blooming and lovely. Wiki has a great description of the history of the castle if you are interested.


Look Ma, no staging…Loire1008-96.jpg

Once we were finished touring Chenonceau, we got back in the car and headed to our favourite place in France – La Benjamine. I was very excited to take my parents there as I knew they would love Dawn & Cedric, the inn and the landscape of the region.

EuroTrip08-203.jpgAs always, when we visit, we had fabulous food. We visited Pau and had a trip to the market and we were fortunate enough to eat at Chez Ruffet again. In addition, I was invited to photograph one more aspect of the wine making process at Domaine Nigri. It has been fascinating for me to watch and photograph this process from beginning to end over the past year. Of course we all got to sample a bit of the wine at several stages of the process and Mom and Dad couldn’t help but take a few bottles back to Canada.


View of the Pyrenees from La BenjamineMonein1008-37.jpgFuture wine…

All in all, our stay at La Benjamine was what it always is – relaxing and full of great food, wine and company.

Love castles, palaces, and ruins like in this article? Us too! Don’t miss the full listing of Castles we’ve visited in Europe and beyond.

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Alison Cornford-Matheson is a Canadian freelance writer and travel photographer and the founder of She is the author of The Foodie Guide to Brussels: Local Tips for Restaurants, Shops, Hotels, and Activities. Alison landed in Belgium in 2005 and, over the years, has become passionate about slow and sustainable travel, in Europe and beyond. She loves to discover hidden gems - be they museums, shops, restaurants, castles, gardens or landscapes, and share them through her words and photos. She has visited 45 countries and is currently slow travelling through North America in an RV, with her husband, Andrew, and two well-travelled cats. You can also follow her work on Google+
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  1. Comment by Andrew

    Andrew November 26, 2008 at 15:27

    Don’t forget how early we got up for our visit to Chenonceau! it was a perfect morning to visit the chateau as the water was sooooo calm. I loved the history of the building as well… especially the fact that it was the bridge to Vichy France during WWII! And a hospital in WWI! Very cool building and estate.
    The trip to La Benj was equally perfect. As always, Dawn and Cedric were the best hosts and really helped make us feel at home. It was wonderful to see them again and it’s so nice to see that their huge investment is working out! I can’t wait for the New Year’s bash! 🙂
    Pictures are awesome! I love your ‘Future wine…’ shot 🙂
    Now on to the next part of the journey…

  2. Pingback: Holling Grange, Herefordshire, England | CheeseWeb

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