Blogs from Chinon, Centre, France, Europe


Europe » France » Centre » Chinon September 24th 2014

Geo: 47.1661, 0.238081Breakfast this morning was several different kinds of bread, including brioche and croissants, fruit salad, and goat cheese. Laurent, one of the hotel's owners, recommended that we pour honey on the goat cheese, top it with walnuts that we cracked ourselves in some really heavy duty crackers, and then spread it on some of the bread. I didn't do the honey part, but spreading it on bread was a great idea. Laurent makes his own jam, and there were probably 20 different varieties on the tables: raspberry, strawberry, peach and quince, marmalade, rhubarb, yellow plum, pear, and green tomato and candied lemon (the label read "Please Love Me."), among others. I tried a dollop of Please Love Me, and it was't too bad. It was odd at first because all you could taste were ... read more
Moi at Villandry
Creepy carp

Europe » France » Centre » Chinon September 23rd 2014

Geo: 47.1661, 0.238081We were out of the hotel at 8:30 this morning, and Virginie started things off by giving us Mentchikoffs. Chartres is famous for two treats: macarons and Mentchikoffs. We had macarons yesterday (and they were gooood!). Mentchikoffs were created during a craze for all things Russian and named after a Russian general. They consist of ground almonds in chocolate, which are then baked into a meringue. They are super tasty. Unfortunately, Virginie says that she's never seen them outside of Chartres, so I won't be able to bring a sample back for anyone. You'll just have to imagine how chocolaty and creamy they are. ;)Somewhere along the road we passed a small farm. There was a small doghouse under what was probably the kitchen window. On top of the doghouse was a small goat, ... read more
Eglise St.-Florentin

Europe » France » Centre » Chinon July 12th 2013

As we had a shorter biking day today and no chateaux that we wanted to visit along the way, we stayed in Chinon for a good look around and to do a tour of the winery cave in Chinon first. We did the Chinon walk (everyone seems to wander) and looked more slowly at the ancient streets and houses that we had toured yesterday. We took the lift up the hill to the fortress but opted not to go in and look. It was first built in 954 and added to over the years by counts or kings. It fell almost into total ruin but in the 1800's onwards it has been recreated and it is still ongoing. We walked downhill on the rough cobbled street and back into the medieval part of the town where ... read more
Vineyards above the Loire Valley
Saumur Chateau
Journey's End at Saumur

Europe » France » Centre » Chinon July 11th 2013

We left Tours at 8.30am with nice cool temperatures - cool enough to wear a top with sleeves. We were happy. And, there was a tail wind. It was a nice easy bike ride along the river Cher, mostly along the stop bank. We went through the usual grain fields and lovely small and very old hamlets. Our objective was Villandry where we were keen to visit the gardens. Since the others wanted to visit the chateau at the same time, we figured it best for us to continue on for the day on our own. Linds wanted me to complete the 60kms and not take the shorter distance by cutting out some of the route. I wasn't keen to do the distance if the high temps continued. However, it was a lot cooler and the ... read more
Villandry Chateau Ornamental Garden
Villandry Vegetable Gardens

Europe » France » Centre » Chinon September 22nd 2012

Saturday, Sept 15 - This weekend most of the national monuments and treasures are open to the public free of charge, or almost free, so we decided to take advantage of this…I had a couple of biggies on my list, being Chinon, the home of Henry II of England and Eleanor of Aquitaine, and Fontevraud, the Abbey where they, Richard the Lionhearted and King John’s wife, Isabelle, were buried. But today we had saved for Chambord, which is one of the jewels of the Loire Valley. After the debacle with all the people at Chenonceau the other day, we decided to get there early, to avoid all the crowds. We were there when it opened and, although we had to pay a small fee, it was worth it. The rooms were beautifully decorated, with wonderful signage ... read more
Chambord Dogs

Europe » France » Centre » Chinon August 30th 2012

Thursday, 30/08/12 Loire/Crouzilles Lynette figured out a different way of adding to my blog so that the last entry appears first, so it will take some getting used to finding my way around. Anyway, we were too lazy to do something today so we did the cleaning, washing and writing most of the day. We did go in to Chinon to join a guided tour of the castle but it turned out quite weird as the group pretty much sat down and litened to a history lesson from the guide. She went through all those who had lived in the castle and who killed who and who were the cousin or brother of whom and how the castle had played its role in the history of Europe. After almost an hour she took us to one ... read more
View from Chinon castle
Lunch in Crissay

Europe » France » Centre » Chinon August 6th 2011

today I was in for a round cycle trip of 55kms, I started off at about 9.30am today. I biked through mostly farming areas today, lots of sunflower fields and a few kms by the river. I biked through Savigny-en-Veron, Candes-St-Martin and quite a few small villages. They were quite amazing as in Parnay they had cave apartments in which there is a lot of cellers for wine growers, certainly not something you see every day. Then it was onto Fontevraud, Couziers, Lerne and Cinais which were all small quaint little towns. Being saturday there wasn't mush open on the way and there wasn't the stopping for all the Chateaus as there were none on he route, which was a nice break for the day. I got back to the hotel mid afternoon. after some lunch ... read more
Cave houses and resturant/cafe

Europe » France » Centre » Chinon August 5th 2011

So today was the first day of cycling. I got up nice and earrly (6.30am - yes shock horror I wouldn't be doing that at home) and had a nice big breakfast with crossaints, eggs on toast, youghurt, oj and coffee. So after that got everything prepared to start. It was overcast and slightly drizzly, but had to go sooner or later as 60km ahead of me. Left the hotel at 8am and was on my way and managed to get slightly lost leaving Tours, after cycling for 1.5hrs I made it to Castle Villandry. The castle was a large one and absolutly beautiful, the gardens were amazingly big and all colour co-ordinated with special designs all having a certain meaning. After spending about 2hrs there I was on my way again following the river Cher ... read more
part of the gardens from Chateau Villandry
Chateau Villandry
Alvin along for the journey

Europe » France » Centre » Chinon March 28th 2010

Yesterday we had our last day-long excursion. I can't believe it's getting toward the end of the semester already! (Although really it just feels like it's getting to the end of the semester because classes are almost over and we have almost three weeks off in April--I still have a solid two months left in Europe. Yay!) We went to Fontevraud, an old abbey that was built around 1100. It’s famous/unique because (besides being pretty) there was always an abbess (a woman) in charge of the abbey—not a man. Also, after the French Revolution, Napoleon turned the Abbey into a prison—and it stayed a prison until 1985! Sadly, the weather was rainy on and off the entire time for us—we haven’t had one excursion with nice weather the entire day! After the tour of the abbey, ... read more

Europe » France » Centre » Chinon October 10th 2009

Geo: 47.1661, 0.238081On the bus this morning, Rolinka had us all do buddy introductions. My tour buddy is Larry from Thousand Oaks; we interviewed each other at dinner last night. He began and said a few things about me, including that I'm a legal secretary. Then he went on to say that I am a somewhat accomplished traveler, and that during one of my travels I was arrested for art forgery. Hilariously, the bus went just a little bit more silent than it already was, and I heard someone behind us say, "Really?" Larry said that as a consequence of my legal bills, which I was unable to pay, the law firm forced me to work for them as a secretary. I thought it was a riot, but I think a few people weren't so sure ... read more
The maze at Chenonceau
Vegetable garden at Chenonceau
Le Clos Luce

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