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King of the Castle

Travelling is of course, still an issue for most people due to rules and regulations, which continue to change. Fortunately, I have managed to get the odd trip in, but nothing like I would like to.

I was looking through some photographs and came across a couple of castles, which I have had the pleasure of visiting. I thought it might be nice to highlight a few, and share my impression of them.

These are not ranked in any order, nor are they the world’s best. They are simply a selection of some of the ones I have seen, and thoroughly enjoyed.

The very first one is Versailles, the regal home of the French kings. It was built as a hunting lodge, by Louis XII in 1623, and sat empty during the French revolution, until it was occupied by Napoleon during his reign.

The furniture was destroyed or sold, and the French government has been buying period pieces over the past 150 years, in an effort to restore the palace. The gardens are starting to once again become regal, after the devastating storms of 1999 destroyed most of the greenery.

Peles Castle, in Romania, is definitely one of my favourite. This summer home of the royal family has been used in numerous films, including at least three or four Hallmark Christmas movies.

I was fortunate my guide had connections, and we were able to get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the private apartments with their lavish furnishings. King Carol, of Romania, fell in love with the mountainside of Transylvania, and commissioned a hunting lodge to be built in 1873. Today, the fairy tale castle, in the heart of the Carpathian mountains, is on lease to the government by the royal family.