Day 10 - Les Chateaux de la Loire

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August 4th 2016
Published: August 4th 2016
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Today was another road trip day. It actually rained for the better part of the drive but it stopped right as we were arriving at our first stop of the day! This was a town called Orleans and it was very quaint. The centre had a merry-go-round with two levels and a statue of Jeanne d'Arc. We ate lunch right in the centre and three of us enjoyed mussels which are in season at the moment. They were delicious. Rachel had pizza.....Anyways, we wandered around the streets for a while until we found the Jardin d'Hotel Groslot. This building is an old residence which is now used as a municipal office and the gardens there are very nice. There was a gingko bilaboa tree that was 150 years old! Orleans is at the eastern side of the Loire Valley tour of chateaux and we headed east from there. On the next part of the drive we got our first glimpse of the Loire River which is very pretty and winding. Next stop was the Oratoire Carolingien de Germigny-des-Pres which was built in 860 (no, I did not miss a digit!). Only one part of the original estate remains now. Continuing east
Merry Go RoundMerry Go RoundMerry Go Round

We had never seen a merry go round with a second level before.
along the Loire we arrived at the Basilique de Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire. They sure like their long names here. This is an historic abby (one of the oldest churches in France, founded in 640) that is now home to 40 monks. The bones of an historic Italian religious figure were sent to this Abby and after that it became a stop on religious pilgrimages. Continuing along the Loire, the last stop of the day was the Chateau Sully-sur-Loire. This looks like a fairy tale castle with its own moat and large park grounds behind it with trails. Instead of crocodiles in the moat we actually saw an otter swimming by, not nearly as scary but still......We really enjoyed this part of the country and we may add a second Loire Valley day (time permitting) to go a little west of Orleans next time.

One major event occurred today: Lori got fired as chief navigator and Russell took over her position (and with his new promotion, also took over the passenger seat of the car). Now, Lori is admittedly the worst navigator imaginable, but the back seat sucks as does listening to Rachel sing along loudly to all the songs on her
Jeanne d'ArcJeanne d'ArcJeanne d'Arc

Statue in the centre of Orleans
playlist.........anyhoo, Russell has done a great job navigating and is confident and makes quick decisions.

Additional photos below
Photos: 9, Displayed: 9


Notre Dame againNotre Dame again
Notre Dame again

Cathedral Notre Dame d'Orleans
Oratoire Carolingien de Germigny-des-PresOratoire Carolingien de Germigny-des-Pres
Oratoire Carolingien de Germigny-des-Pres

The was consecrated in 806 and is one of the oldest churches in France. It was erected by Theodulfe and was originally a church surrounded by a villa. It was classified as a historical monument in 1840 (yes, 1840).
Abbaye Saint-Benoit-sur-LoireAbbaye Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire
Abbaye Saint-Benoit-sur-Loire

This is currently habitated by 40 monks, one of which was manning the bookstore.
Chateau Sully-sur-LoireChateau Sully-sur-Loire
Chateau Sully-sur-Loire

So pictureseque with the moat.

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