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Published: September 30th 2017
I didn't bother paying for the hostel's breakfast, since it's just the typical bread and cereal. I picked up some juice and yogurt yesterday for today and tomorrow. Lychee yogurt - good, but seemed slightly odd. The peach stuff was great - rich, creamy, and very peachy!
Geo: 47.3333, 1.06667
A bad sleep ... this place has the thinnest walls .... of course, my constant hacking probably disturbed my neighbours as much as they disturbed me! The problem is that I've essentially gone from a castle to ... shall we say ... something less regal? This hostel is actually great value - under 13-14 euros a night, for a private room.
Off to the chateau of Chenonceau - the audio tour is done on iPod; I need to stop getting audio guides. It's not often that I bother but when I do, I get sucked into listening boring things like "Look how exquisite the coffee table's legs are ..." ... zzzzz .... I was short on time, so I figured the audio guide would be a good way of organizing everything so that I could efficiently tour the chateau. Wrong!
The chateau wasn't as picturesque as the postcards would suggest, but it was an overcast day, and there were some renovations taking place. The interior was nothing special, and neither was the exterior, for that matter. The region is famous for chateaus, and Chenonceau is the third most visited one in all of France, behind Versailles and Fontainebleau, and many
Also a little bit of bread and cheese.
come to the region just to tour a number of Chateaus. One was more than enough for me.
Today was kind of a sad day ... knowing I was going to be in Paris at the end of my trip, I had contacted Emilie to see if she was going to be around. Unfortunately, she wasn't going to be, but she suggested meeting up with me in Amboise. But ... unfortunately, work came up, meaning she wouldn't be able to meet me in Amboise, after all 😞 Not meant to be!
Back to town by 13:00 - bus connections to and from Chenonceau are few, hence the early return. Of course, there wasn't a whole lot of interest in Chenonceau anyway, so there was no reason to stay there - back to town for a stroll and a snack.
Over to the youth centre from their free Internet to check train schedules. I ended up walking to the train station and buying my ticket for tomorrow, because the Internet schedules never quite seem to match what the train station will sell you, at least with the small towns. Traveling between some of these smaller French towns is odd in that way.
The walk from Chenonceaux (the town), to the Chateau of Chenonceau (don't know why, but they're spelled differently).
A quick nap before killing time at an Internet cafe, before looking for a place to eat dinner. I wanted to go for a bit of a walk, but there's really nowhere to stroll around Amboise.
A place called L'epicerie was recommended by the guidebook, and their menu looked pretty good, so I thought I'd give it a try. I walked in just ahead of a party of two, and was told that they were full. Full my ass!!! It was busy, but they saw more dollar signs walk in behind me. It's the curse of the single traveler, though I've only experienced it a few times. You already discriminate against us by sticking us in a crappy seat in the back, or next to the toilet, but must you also deny us the simple pleasure of even eating???
I think I'll have to start traveling with an inflatable doll, so the next time they tell me they are "full", I'll just say "my friend will be joining me shortly". Then we'll see how much they like watching my blow her up and sit her down next to me!
I ended up at Chez Bruno, where they didn't discriminate, but
of course, they also weren't packed. Things started out well, with some nice, chewy bread, and a very nice cabernet. Many of the wines served here are homemade, but what I had wasn't. I think the label was Francois Pergernay or something similar, and it was very smooth. Overall, the food was pretty average, and I came to the realization that I'd fallen into a culinary black hole - after such excellent food in Sarlat, Amboise has fallen well short. How do I escape it???
As I left the restaurant, I thought of how much I miss the lively Spanish nights, with the beautiful, aimless walking. I miss the paseo!!! Though I tried again tonight, there just aren't any good walking areas here. Recently, there's been too much eating and too little activity - my pants are getting tight! Back at the hostel, many people were sitting in the cafeteria watching a French soccer match - I watched for a bit, then retired to my room for a bit of reading. Sigh ... how I miss my beloved Spain ...
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