Le Grand Voyage — Day 24

This was our first night in a hotel.  In the morning, we were faced with our first €15 breakfast (each).  In the past we might have just paid this.  By now, we knew we could get better croissants for 1/4 of the price half a block away.  And we were right.  We started by scoping out the town a little, and then heading off for our first castle.
My first big realization of the day was remembering how much I missed driving a standard.  Zipping around on tiny country and city roads, constantly shifting, surging forward, braking. What fun.  Hard to believe I was driving a diesel.
We zipped our way through several small towns to Chateâu de Chambord.  Chambord is a magnificant castle, originally built as a hunting lodge.  

Numerous conical towers sprout up fantastically from the central keep, inside a large courtyard inside an outside wall.  The rooms felt small- not cramped small, but I-could-live-in-a-room-like-this small.  Dozens of fireplaces were needed to keep the rooms warm in the winter.  The central keep had four main towers, joined in the middle by a beautiful double-helix circular staircase.  
From the top of the castle, one had spectacular views of the fantastic spires, as well of the extensive grounds.

After seeing our fill, we took a scenic route home, tricking our GPS into keeping us away from the major towns.  We had a little bit of a hard time finding a restaurant we were in the mood for, falling back on a creperie.  I had a gallette with… hamburger?  Desert was a crepe with a Grand Marnier flambé.  Interesting.