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Europe » France » Centre » Tours October 20th 2013

Tours, Chateau de Chenonceau and Chambord in Loire Valley France on 18 September 2013 We drove further along the Loire Valley and arrived in Tours for coffee. We found yet another lovely town with a river flowing through it, a tram system, open avenues and an old town section. We drove down some of the little streets – always a slow, cautious task in the camper –and found a park. We went for a walk and came across a lot of interesting little shops and then came onto the main square where we found a coffee shop. All over its walls it had memorabilia, posters on walls, and umbrellas hanging from its ceiling. It also had great coffee. We then drove further through the city seeing its and walls, before heading out of town to see ... read more
Chateau de Chenonceau in Loire Valley France (10)
Where we had coffee in Tours in Loire Valley France (1)
Chateau de Chambord Loire Valley in France (48)

Europe » France » Centre » Amboise September 28th 2013

It's Monday and we only have another few days here. Quick phone call to the Eurotunnel office to change our train home from Tuesday next week to Friday this week. Five house viewings arranged and an offer put in on a bungalow pending inspection. How mad is that? The weather has cooled off significantly. From 33 degrees in Portugal it is now around 17 overnight and a little over 22 in the day. The mornings are misty although the sun does burn through by mid morning. Our plan to drive to Poitiers a city I have always wanted to see and in particular its cathedral. We had found a site near to Futuroscope which hopefully would be open and would have a bus into the city. Our journey was pretty boring along the way. And to ... read more
Amboise
Amboise
Amboise

Europe » France » Centre » Beaugency September 20th 2013

We have been to Chenonceau Chateau once before but we remembered it as a lovely chateau to visit to decided to make it our stopping spot on the drive to Beaugency today. It took us a couple of hours to get there but there is a carpark area dedicated to campervans so no problem parking. It was pretty busy as this is one of the most popular French tourist spots. The gardens are lovely, beautifully planted in both main areas. I had rather expected one garden to be in Autumnal colours but both were in pastel shades. We walked round both gardens and then toured the chateau along with quite a lot of other tourists. I have included several photos of the floral arrangements, especially for Lynne as I hope they will give her inspiration. We ... read more
Chenonceau Chateau
Chenonceau Chateau - see what a lovely day it is
Just one of the many chateaus we pass as we drive through the Loire valley

Europe » France » Centre September 10th 2013

After a day of inaction we were ready for a day out and some exercise. The weather forecast was promising with broken cloud and some sun although the days of shorts and sandals we think may well be over as the temperature is only predicted to get to 20C or thereabouts. Gretchen had plotted a route for us to take in some recommended small villages from the Backroads of France book that we have with us. We had never heard of the places we thought we would visit but the description of them in the book made them sound appealing. We had driven a fair distance on our day out visiting Amboise and Blois and we wanted to keep today’s drive down in distance. Heading out in a southerly direction towards Valencay we weren’t far into ... read more
Main Street,Montresor
Ancient keep,Montresor
The Chateau,Montresor

Europe » France » Centre » Valencay September 9th 2013

After the big day out yesterday we were ready for a stay at home day and a good lay in this morning. The weather still wasn’t warm enough to be in the sunroom for breakfast so we made do with the kitchen table. It’s lucky we don’t have a newspaper to read at breakfast because the table is just big enough for our plates and spreads and a coffee cup. We did some washing (I should say Gretchen did some washing) and made good use of the washing line out on the lawn. This is a bit of a luxury as we have made do mostly with stringing clothes up in the shower using the nifty little twisted clothes line that has travelled with us for many years. The day was partly overcast with a hint ... read more
Gretchen amongst the sunflowers
Doer up #1........not so much
Doer up #2.....now here there is potential

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Europe » France » Centre » Amboise September 8th 2013

There had been a little improvement in the weather overnight and the overcast sky was broken with a large patch of blue sky away in the direction we intended to head for the days sightseeing. It was still a bit cool when we opened the windows to let some fresh air in before breakfast and too nippy to sit in the sunroom. As we have been experiencing for the last couple of weeks the sun is noticeably later in rising which gives you the feel that the day is passing by .OK, we get a longer sunset on the other end but having the sun early is a better way to get going for the day. We packed the chilly bag with cheese, tomatoes and ham as well as drink for lunch and by mid morning ... read more
Chateau du Amboise
Clos Luc,Leonardo da Vinci's manor house,Amboise
A house built into the cliff,Amboise

Europe » France » Centre » Valencay September 7th 2013

It looks like the days of warm summery weather may be over as there is a distinct coolness in the air this morning and shorts and t-shirt are no longer options when we are out sightseeing. With only one more stay of 4 nights before we get to Paris and hand the car back we need to start thinking seriously about compacting our travelling grocery box into a much smaller container and stop buying any food that we don’t consume the same day. Before we left Briguieul we took a walk around the fortified part of the village,through the arched entranceway and into the roman style church built in the 12th century and modified in the 15th century that is one of the oldest remaining buildings. It is a fairly straight run north to what is ... read more
12th century church
Interior of church from the gallery
Ploughed field ready to be smoothed out

Europe » France » Centre » Tours September 2nd 2013

It turns out that the LAST car of the train is generally reserved for bicycles. Thus, we disembarked about 300 feet from the actual train station. After Bill determined that there were NO CARTS, he decided that the time had come to assemble the bikes...which he was able to do in the hot sun in approximately one hour. It was clear as we clipped on our panniers, and fastened the bags that had carried the panniers, and balanced the boxes on the handle bars, that we had far too much luggage. We left the boxes as close to where the trash was supposedly supposed to be, and called our first SERVAS host: Annie. It turns out that Annie actually lives in a suburb of Tours and she didn't have a car, which we didn't understand until ... read more

Europe » France » Centre » Villandry September 2nd 2013

We started the day by mailing 3.5 kg (7.7 pounds) of packing materials and a few clothes back to our friends in Paris in an effort to lighten our load! In retrospect, I could have kept two garments, but...I am doing fine without them. We feel so much better, I can tell you. Annie kept saying, I cannot believe that you didn't weigh your panniers before leaving home...Annie, if you only knew that we travel at the last minute! Getting to the bike path was quite an experience, due to the fact that people were driving to work in municipal part of Tours and Annie was not sure of the directions. Fortunately, we had our cell phones and were able to stay in touch with one another. The path was smooth and FLAT! We cycled along ... read more

Europe » France » Centre » Amboise August 10th 2013

The great thing about staying in a B&B is the quaintness and the fact that the owner is usually extremely friendly. That's certainly how it is where I'm at. This morning I literally opened my door to the living room, and sat down to a home-cooked breakfast. The family dog, Farah, laid at my feet the entire time. And I think I definitely got on the host's good side by admiring her book collection, especially her prized book of Charles Baudelaire's poetry. She's letting me have breakfast earlier than usual tomorrow, since I have to leave early. After hopping on my bike, I set off for the relatively leisurely ride down to Chenonceau, the absolute best of the many chateaux in the Loire. The ride was a little over an hour, and wound through a beautiful ... read more
Just Outside Amboise
Entering Amboise Forest
Field of Sunflowers




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