Bloody siesta, closing down between 12-2, car rental place was closed when we had arrived so we had to go back and collect after our champagne tour, which put us behind schedule for our 3 hour 40 min drive to where we are staying in the Loire Valley.
Half way, all good, then we hit Paris traffic…..mmmm maybe we should have avoided Paris traffic the night before a public holiday and for some a 4 day long weekend at 6pm….mmmmm how bad could it be? OMG, nightmare doesn’t begin to discribe it. We have off line google maps, so all it does it give you time estimate based on distance, no allowance for traffic, so for about 2 hours it kept say the same time to our destination ……..arghhhhh faaaarrrrrrkkkk!!
However, as we finally got closer, we ended up seeing at least 3 different fireworks displays for Bastille day (it was the eve of), so that at least put smiles back on our faces. We stayed at a tiny little town which meant that at 11pm as we left the main motor way we ended up on lots of very narrow country roads in the pitch dark, thank god for google maps!! The poor man at our B&B had to stay awake until we finally arrived at 11:40pm, exhausted after a 7.5 hour journey, instead of 3 hours 40!!!
Next morning, sun was shining and the b’fast at our B&B was amazing….right it’s a new day, yesterdays nightmare almost forgotten, almost! But a freshly baked crosaint for b’fast certainly helped, lol.
We are staying in a tiny town called Oisly, about 40 minute drive from Tours, in a 200 year old farm house, was gorgeous.
Our friendly B&B host gave us some recommendations for chateaus to visit in the area, weather is looking a little overcast, but better than being stuck in traffic! First chateau we head to is Chateau de Chaumont, it’s from the 10th Century, but was destroyed but later rebuild in the 15th century. We picked this one as it has a beautiful facade but also cause the gardens had some interesting sculptures and art installations in it.
The weather reminded us of Melbourne, sunny and hot one minute, raining the next…..jacket on, jacket off, umbrella up umbrella down!! Rain pic for my friends in a cold Melbourne winter at the moment, see it’s not all sunshine everyday, heee hee!
After lunch we drove to another chateau, Chateau Chambord, this is the largest chateau in the Loire Valley, it was build over 30 years in the early to mid 1500’s, this one we picked as it was meant to be very impressive both inside and out, it did not disappoint.
Inside it has a double helix staircase, so two people could start at the bottom of each stair case and both walk to the top floor but never pass each other, but you could see each other through windows in the central column….naturally we did this!
The countryside around where we are staying is amazing, you drive through tinny towns, with about 20 buildings, then you see fields and beautiful old stone buildings, it reminded me of the scenes you see when watching the Tour de France. Was really hard to get pics, either was driving or no where to stop.
We had dinner in literally the smallest town, it had one restaurant in it, it was Bastille day, so not much, if anything was open anywhere, all the towns looked deserted, probably cause they all stuck in traffic near Paris, lol! After a long two days, and given we not really near much we went back to our B&B and drank some vine we had bought that day from Chateau Chambord and watched the Bastille day celebrations in Paris on tv, later hearing about the tragic event in Nice. (It’s a few days since now, as I am always writing these posts a few days after I’ve been somewhere, but we have not had any issues where we are in France, safe with no concerns. I am due to visit Nice in a week, I will be monitoring the media before going).
The next day we where driving to Bordeaux, on our way we stopped at another chateaux, this was is from the 16th century and is built across the River Cher, and is one of the best known in the Loire Valley. It had some bueatuiful and well manicured gardens on either side, it’s the second most visited chateau, it was a Friday when we went, day after the public holiday and it was ridiculously busy, so glad we didn’t come yesterday.
Wow what a beautiful area of the country is the Loire Valley, loved it here, we hit the road again, destination, Bordeaux and ……wine!