Leonardo da Vinci was a genius artist, inventor, town planner and architect. In 1516, he accepted an invitation from French King Francois I to live and work in Amboise, France. Until his death in 1519 at age 64, Da Vinci lived in Chateau du Cloux (now Clos Luce) near the royal castle, so, of course, we had to visit the house, now a museum.
Da Vinci’s inventions are displayed in miniature in the house, and full-size around the extensive grounds. Flying machines, paddle-wheel boats, revolving bridge (portable, for armies on the move), helicopter (aerial screw), machine gun, armored car (precursor to the modern tank), giant crossbow, a double-decker bridge that was supposed to help stop the spread of the plague, and his artwork hanging from trees.
We were also lucky enough to be there for a special exhibition on the progression of flying machines, from a man-powered set of wings to hot-air balloons and beyond.
lining up to get tickets to the museum
da Vinci’s helicopter design
Looks like a space ship, but it’s really da Vinci’s early tank.
double decker bridge
da Vinci’s machine gun design
portable bridge for use by armies
da Vinci’s double-decker bridge
da Vinci’s office
da Vinci’s workspace
bust of da Vinci
Hologram in da Vinci’s house
Progression of Flight exhibition
Categories: Architecture, Art, bridges, engineering, France, History, Photography, Travel, Uncategorized
Tags: engineering, France, history, inspiration, Leonardo da Vinci, Loire Valley, photography, science, travel
View of Amboise’ castle across the river from our B*B
My husband retired early this year, so we decided to celebrate with a 7-week trip to Europe (while he was working, vacations could only last 3 weeks). We did all the planning, and now consider ourselves travel-agent worthy. For the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing the adventure with you, starting with our stay in France’s Loire River Valley, which is known for its many chateaus (castles). So, let me first introduce you to the charming medieval town of Amboise.
Getting to Amboise was fairly easy. From Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport we took a train to St. Pierre des Corps, and then a 12-minute train ride to Amboise. As we walked with our suitcases from the tiny train station in Amboise to our bed-and-breakfast, a man riding a bicycle shouted at us that we were going the wrong way. He apparently assumed we were going TO the train station. We laughed, waved and kept on going. A few blocks later, when we found our accommodations, the big, wrought-iron gate was closed and locked. We tried phoning, but no one answered. Uh oh. Next door was a café/bar where the townspeople came to place sports bets (It was odd to see a Chinese family—obviously residents—chatting with the locals in French). We waited there for a few hours, checking every so often to see if the gate had been opened. Finally, we found a woman who lived at the B&B (not the owner), and she let us in. Our room was delightfully French, with a splendid view of the castle across the river.
Our B*B next to the bar/cafe
“Piscine” means swimming pool. The Ile d’Or means Island of Gold; it’s in the middle of the river.
schoolchildren on the Ile d’Or
a tourist train passes Amboise’s castle
cave house under the castle
cave house under the castle
Looking down on the town from the castle
Jerry on the bridge at sunset
View of Amboise’ castle from our B*B window
from the castle, bridge leading to our B*B
My favorite sculptures
giraffes at sunset
Heading up into the castle
A full moon over Amboise’s castle
Categories: Architecture, Art, bridges, culture, France, Photography, Stock Photography, Sunsets, Travel
Tags: France, Loire Valley, photography, photos, travel
Colorful ripples reflect our boat’s passage under and past this remarkable color-and-pattern-changing bridge on the Yangtze River.
Remind you of anything?
Bridge over the River Yangtze
Categories: Architecture, Art, Asia, bridges, China, cruises, engineering, Photography, Reflections, Travel
Tags: bridges, China, colors, cruises, engineering, photography, reflections, travel
Dragon Bridge, Da Nang, Vietnam
Rong Gao (Dragon Bridge), Da Nang, Vietnam. Built in 2013 and designed by U.S. engineers, this dragon breathes fire and hissing smoke (water mist) each weekend after sunset. Now that I’ve photographed it during the day, returning at night is on my Bucket List.
Categories: Architecture, Asia, bridges, culture, Da Nang, dragons, engineering, Photography, Travel, Vietnam
Tags: Asia, bridges, Da Nang, dragons, engineering, photography, photos, Southeast Asia, travel, Vietnam