Z for Zorro en route to Blois Chambord

Some time ago we took the train, a grey train with an orange Z, a Z for Zorro. Even if it wasn’t lightning fast, it took us to our destination, if I may say so, since we were going to Blois and Blois isn’t by the sea but by the Loire. And the Loire doesn’t match up with the sea, it goes without saying (Between Orleans and Blois the flow is much is lower and there are many sandbanks). Blois station has been renamed to appeal to tourists, and is now called Blois-Chambord, for those Chinese in a hurry who wouldn’t take the time to stop in Blois to admire the castle and would rather travel 30 km by bus to Chambord. Except there a no tourists at the moment. So it looks a little bit like a sad derelict tourist attraction from the past Century.

Blois Chambord: with a Z for Zorro

It is funny how tourists establish a hierarchy between the monuments they visit. I knew some who downplayed all their trips after discovering the pyramids of Giza. “After that, everything is lousy” they said. Thus, for tourists, there is a sheer difference between castles. Chambord is arguably the epitome of renaissance castles, perhaps next would come Amboise, the château de Chenonceau and Azay le rideau (the latter being very photogenic, hence ‘instagrammable’ according to a flavour-of-the-month expression), with Blois being certainly considered a trifle too eclectic. And what about the Duke of Guise? Why on earth would you want to die in Blois when you are originating from the Ardennes. Anyway, who cares about History when you can have Instagram?!

Blois Chambord: with a Z for Zorro
Arriving in Blois. Oops, sorry, Blois-Chambord, much more salesy
Blois Chambord: with a Z like Zorro
Here’s the fridge bridge again, well rusted this time it has suffered a little last year. In some parts of France, we’ve had the equivalent of over 6 years of rain in 2021 (especially in Brittany). This must not have been kind to metal bridges such as this one
Blois Chambord: with a Z like Zorro
This was not the train driver’s steering wheel but the emergency brake (at least I assume so)
An old “train corail” (literally “coral train” because they used to be orange like coral I suppose before they were refurbished and repainted) from the 1980s that took us back a few years, here at Austerlitz station
Blois Chambord: with a Z like Zorro
The Gare d’Austerlitz has been undergoing work for at least 5 years. It has been partially modernised. I found these scallop-shaped pillars quite interesting
Blois Chambord: with a Z like Zorro
Detail of the scallop shell, particularly suited to the festive season (this photo was taken on Christmas Day)
Goodbye 2021 and welcome to 2022, which we hope will be full of travels and maskless.
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