Blois

— Our Second Village Lab —

We were greeted by King Louis VII on his horse at the entrance of the chateau.

Yesterday we traveled to Blois, a royal city that’s a 45 minute bus ride from Pontlevoy, and toured one of the most interesting chateaux in the Loire Valley. It was first constructed in the 10th century by the counts of Blois and used as a medieval fortress. Louis XII added on his wing in 1498. Francois I constructed his wing during the Renaissance, showing the distinct evolution of art and architectural style. Gaston d’Orleans removed a portion of Louis VII’s wing in 1635 to build his wing in the Neo-Classicism style, which drew inspiration from Greek and Roman architecture — columns, domes, and rounded archways.

Krista, Diana and me sitting on a bench in the park

We ate a fabulous lunch by Julien from Le Commerce. Sandwich: ham, cheese, lettuce, tomato, mayo on a baguette; chips, an apple, and Oasis to drink. Thank you Julien! After that, we took a walk around town and got to do a little shopping.

Cathedral de Blois

Lesleigh, Krista, Kaitlyn, Emily, and I popped our heads into another beautiful cathedral at the perfect time to see the sunlight shining through the stained glass. It’s hard not to take a hundred pictures every time we visit a cathedral. Even though each one is stylistically similar, the different cathedrals each have little nuances that set themselves apart from the rest.

Impressive translation skills exhibited by our French I teacher, Madame Kasak-Saxler! In this photo, our guide is telling us about the trumpet that locals sounded at the end of WWI.

Next, we met at the Musea de Le Resistance and had the once in a lifetime opportunity to listen to a member of the French resistance during the German occupation of Blois speak about what life was like during WWII.

He voluntarily enlisted at 18 and played a major role in repairing French signals that the Germans tried to scramble so as to restrict communication between French squadrons.

Here’s a photo of our new friend and his squadron after the liberation.

It was amazing how detailed he remembered about each and every aspect of the war. I’m so thankful to have been able to experience the museum with someone who lived through it instead of ignorantly passing such meaningful artifacts.

We rounded up our amazing day singing and dancing the night away at Le Commerce for a rock concert, together with all the locals from Pontlevoy. Absolutely unforgettable!