Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Travels in France - Loire Valley


Chateau de Chenonceau.
When in the Loire valley you have to visit  a chateau, and so we chose the Chateau de Chenonceau, around 10 miles south of Amboise. This lovely chateau that straddles the river Cher is steeped in history - Catherine de Medici, Diane of Poitiers, Louise of Lorraine,  Charles VIII of Frances, Francis 1st of France, and even up to the second world war when Jews were smuggled through the property to freedom.

Lunch was back at Amboise, and after that we went to see the Chateau where Leonardo da Vinci lived for 3 years prior to his death. We were on the English-speaking tour of the chateau, and there were only two of us on that tour. Hugely enjoyable. He is actually buried in Amboise, in the chapel of St Hubert.

Note to self, Vouvray is very nice as well.

Travels in France - Loire Valley


Travelling day, and we hope to spend a lot of the day in the ancient city of Tours. This is deep in the Loire valley, and definitely wine-drinking country (Saumur and Vouvray particularly).

Cathedral of St Gatien, Tours
Today was spent mostly in Tours, and we visited a number of the more interesting parts of Tours. Firstly we saw the imposing cathedral of St Gatien, and marvelled at some of the amazing stained glass windows. Many of the windows had stories to tell, including the lives of St Martin and St Nicholas.

A short walk across the city to the old town, which is now full of restaurants and boutiques. Lunch was essential, and we then followed that with a trip to see the Musée des Beaux Arts. Having settled into our new residence (which I discovered later had WiFi) we went to the village of Vouvray, which was blighted by a hailstorm in late spring and many of the vines were damaged for this year. Vouvray is tiny, so we looked at the church and bought some wine (Vouvray, of course). The evening meal was terrific at a local restaurant, and we shared a bottle of St Nicolas de Bourgueil [Note to self - I really like St Nicolas de Bourgueil]