Saturday, August 17, 2013

Chinon To Loches

    It's noon in Lake Lure.  Rain is beginning to fall again. I have a Boston Butt on the new smoker on the deck just outside the door, so I can't go far or get involved in much of anything else, so I think I will get back to posting about our riding tour of France. It has been a month since I last posted.  I got busy with projects like installing a new boat lift, and time has flown.  Now it's time to get back to telling the tale. If I don't do it soon, I won't be able to remember. That seems to be a frequent problem these days, and that is why I have this new bumper sticker on my bike.  Thank God for digital pictures and videos with date stamps.

    Thursday morning, June 20th, we meandered around the Loire Valley not far from Chinon, visiting some famous castles including Chateau Usse, known as the Fairy-Tale Cinderella castle,  and Chateau de Langeais, first built in 992, destroyed in the Hundred Years' War, rebuilt again in 1465, and best known as the site of the wedding of Anne of Brittany to King Charles VIII in 1491.

Chateau Usse, The Cinderella Castle

Chateau de Langeais

    We paused for cafe au lait at a patisserie in front of Chateau de Langeais,  and had this selection of delights  to choose from to go with  the coffee, typical of what we found in little villages all over France. I don't know how all French people don't weigh over 300 pounds, being surrounded on all sides by temptations like this.

   Below is a Google satellite view of the Hotel Chateau d'Artigny near the town of Montbazon, not too far from Tours in the Loire Valley.  According to Laurent, this is one of the most expensive hotels in all France. He inadvertently forgot to book us rooms there, so he took us up to the entrance so we could see what we missed.

The hotel.

Our destination for the night was Loches where we would rendezvous with Carole at the Hotel de France.

The Hotel de France in Loches is an old hotel with lovely spacious rooms.  This is the view of the courtyard from our room.

Carole arrived from Tours in the late afternoon.  From his expression, I think Laurent was happy to see her.

The view from our room after sunset.

I wonder what's behind the green door. I'm not telling...maybe Penny will.

   After dinner, we made the climb up to the Chateau de Loches, perched above the town, built for and used by Henry II of England and his son Richard The Lionheart during the 12th century.  The compound includes the ancient Church of Saint-Ours which grew from a 500 AD monastery founded by St. Ours himself.

   Tomorrow will be a day of delight and horror.

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