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Published: October 25th 2015
Leaving the Loire
Tonight at Sully sur Loire will be our last night by the lovely winding Loire River.
For 10 days we have meandered up the Valley Loire. Autumn colours convert before our eyes from vert green to lemon and yellow which then becomes a speckled orange on its way to rusty red and deepening every day. Under sky that has lost its blue to give way to grey the darkens every day, flakes of colour fall from the trees to ground while mists become more the norm and daily rain is as reliable old father time. This has been a time to observe. And to gain a sense of how a foreboding frosty winter will be delivered on time.
Amongst it all farms are worked with intensity. The Loire Valley is a huge flood plain ( which breaks its banks about every decade) producing food as fast as Frenchman can eat.
A few things you cant ignore in the Loire Valley are the chateaux, their history and beaches along the riverbank. Its ABC country – at every turn Another Blooming Chateau. Yes they have big blooming fleury
gardens around the castles.
Like anywhere in this region he scenery enchants the eye. Even now in mid autumn gardens of the ever florally flush French are in strong bloom. I can only wonder at the colour of full summer here. More for next trip.
This is a more modern region than say the centre of France with more 20th
century indicators of Loire life like modern shopping centres amongst nappy valley suburbs sporting detached housing and industrial activity zones.
People here are as French as ever. They are so patient. In supermarkets and on the road they will wait patiently and quietly always with the bestof manners. Nearly everyone greets us ( and all comers ) with a hearty “bonjour”. Even teenagers hail with friendly “bonjour” . Their youngsters are always respectful. Never loud or loutish and clean cut. Fashion conscious French people take pride in their appearance to appoint of being flashy. You wont see ugly tats or nose rings here. they just don’t have that black outlook on life. Outwardly aloof and invariably meticulously presented while underneath there is a warmth that opens once we speak. They
tolerate our poor attempts to speak Francais and put us out of our misery by showing that they know only little Anglais. So we chat in poor French hoping to get a bit of our meaning across while they natter in poor English probably missing most of their message. Its all in a happy spirit and we leave saying “ au revoir” and they reply with “goodbye”.
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