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One Friday we woke up early and went to two chateaus in the Loire Valley – Ambroise and Chenonceau. Both of the chateaus were beautiful, but what struck me most were the gardens surrounding the chateau de Chenonceau. There were multiple perfectly kept gardens with tons of flowers, as well as a hedge maze and intricate paths in the forest surrounding the chateau. I have noticed that to all the monuments we visited, like Versailles, there is some elaborate garden or outdoor feature. There are current neuroscience studies showing that being around plants and spending time outside make people feel happier. Perhaps this was understood even back when the chateaus were being made, and that’s why they all have elaborate and beautiful gardens.

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