Tours and Amiens

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April 14th 2015
Published: April 14th 2015
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Sunday. Today we had a return to warm, sunny weather, and we set off for a day touring the Loire Valley. First of all we visited the Château Chenonçeau, which bridges the Cher River, and is set in magnificent grounds which include formal and informal gardens, and forest. This château has an interesting history, and the grounds are very peaceful if one walks into the forest a bit.

We then proceeded to Amboise for lunch, followed by a tour of the very impressive château/castle which overlooks and dominates the town. What remains is only a fraction of the original great fortress, but includes some amazing features, such as the chapel overhanging the walls, the broad spiral ramps inside the towers, built so that the king/nobles could ride their horses and bring carriages up from the entrances at the bottom to the courtyard, and excellent views over the Loire River from the ramparts. Then we visited Clos Lucé, where Leonardo da Vinci spent his last years. An interesting château, and a wonderful park adjacent, with full-sized models of some of da Vinci's inventions.

Returning to Tours, we attended Mass at the magnificent Cathedral.

Monday. Coach travel from Tours to Amiens, via Paris, where we had to change driver. Some good scenery, and some trivia and spotto contests on the coach made the time pass.

In Amiens we had a guided walking tour, including a wonderful tour of the great cathedral. It is the largest medieval cathedral in the world, and is truly enormous – so large it is very difficult to photograph the outside, one can’t get far enough away. I need a wide angle lens!

We had dinner beside a canal, and I spoke to an Australian who tours parts of France each year on his own canal boat. There are plenty of Australians here in the lead up to the 100th Anzac commemoration. Amiens is decked out with many banners and with Australian flags in many places.

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