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Published: June 26th 2017
Geo: 45.6934, -0.324972
On Thursday we checked out of our hotel at about 9am and drove towards Tours. We had skirted this major town yesterday so today drove along the north bank of the Loire and made a stop in the city. Had a quick look at the old town which had some great Tudor style buildings and visited the Cathedral of St Gatien. This is an impressive Gothic structure with some magnificent stained glass windows and high vaulted ceilings.
From Tours we drove to Angouleme. I have been wanting to visit this city for 22 years as Melissa had been a student there in 1986 and both Fletcher and Lucy had visited since then. We arrived in mid afternoon after a forgettable lunch stop at a roadside café and parked near the city centre. We walked to the Hotel de Ville and then down the pedestrian streets to a new shopping complex near the Champs de Mars. Alas, I did not find Francois Premier Lycee nor the Chat Noir which were Melissa's hangouts but I did at least get a small feel for the town.
We then had great difficulty getting out of the town and onto the right road for Cognac. After
some frustration and driving in circles we eventually made our way to this famous town. However, frustration again set in when we found, after several stops and phone calls, that there was not a hotel room to be had in the town!!.
We then drove out towards Saintes and following a sign discovered a great little place, a Chambres D'Hotes (like a B&B) in a small village called Loussac. The hostess first insisted we have a Pineau de Charentes, Melissa take note, and we chatted, in French most of the time to another couple from Quebec whose English was about as good as our French!! We then drove back into Cognac for dinner. Stopped at a restaurant called The Globe(for Shakespeare's sake) and had a good dinner while chatting to a French couple at the next table, thankfully in English, who assured me that La Chat Noir is still active and doing well. Returned to our very comfortable room for the night. A lovely end to a somewhat frustrating day!!.
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