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The McDermott Scholars Award covers all expenses of a superb four-year academic education at The University of Texas at Dallas, in concert with a diverse array of intensive extracurricular experiences, including internships, travel, and cultural enrichment.

Friday, September 19, 2003

Visiting the Chateau of Blois

We visited the Chateau of Blois today. It is magnificent. The first real chateau I have ever visited, besides Versailles. Remnants dating back to the middle ages are scattered across its gardens. The chateau itself shows a progression of periods as duke after duke elongated it, rebuilt it, changed it to fit his desires. So the wings move from the Gothic Flamboyant (red brick and Italian ornamentation) of the late 1400’s to the Renaissance style of the 1500’s to the Classical period of the 1600’s to the gargoyles of the Gothic eighteenth century. I moved from room to room, marveling because I was in a story land. I could get lost in the maze of rooms and passageways. There were even wooden panels that opened into hidden cabinets, like in a murder mystery :).

The town of Blois itself is charming. Gardens everywhere, and a Patisserie or Chocolaterie on every corner. In fact, this is the town where Monsieur Poulait got his start as a chocolate maker, and the trade seems to have been passed on. In one shop window, we saw sculptures of chocolate -- a torso, a hand, a pair of lovers in love.

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