We're never getting out of here!!

Villandry Travel Blog

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One of the outbuildings

So we get up, check out of the hotel, and go to the chateau, conveniently located right down the street.  The nice people there let us leave our luggage in the back room while we visit, so we can all go in together.

The gardens at Villandry were simply amazing (they are supposed to be the best in the Loire valley).  There were enormous, and perfectly kept, and they look really cool from the tower.  The chateau itself was pretty good as well, it was more modern than Chenonceau, and also a bit less ornate, just because there were people who still lived in it up until around 1900, I think.

So it seemed like the day was going pretty well, we were well on schedule to getting back to Tours and taking an afternoon guided tour, or trying to catch a train to get to one more chateau.

Courtyard
  So conviently right outside the chateau is the number for a taxi company that operates 24/7.  Nice, we'll be out of here in no time.  Well we try calling both there numbers and no response.  Oh no. 

we start heading back to the hotel, since there was a taxi sign there, maybe it has a different number.  But we see a tourist center, so one of the kids goes in and asks for the numbers of taxi companies, not just one, but all of them.  So we take our list and start calling them.  Out of 6, only two respond, one is full for the day, and the other one isn't working until the 4th.  Great. 

So we decide the best plan of action is to eat lunch and then try again. So we go back into the nonexistant town, only to discover we're too early for lunch.

  So we go back to the chateau, because there was a sandwhich stand with tables.  So we eat, and try the numbers again.  No response.  So we decide the only real option is to walk to the train station and wait for the next train, which is supposidely at 6.

So we're walking along the road, which has no sidewalks, half in the road, one of us with a suitcase, and two with duffel bags, and cars are driving by, most are going over and driving in the other lane when they see us.  Its pretty awesome.  And it was like a 3 km walk, which wouldn't be bad, if you weren't carrying luggage and walking alternatively on the edge of the road and in the grass.  It was not very fun.

The gardens

So we get there, and we see a sign telling us to cross the river for the train station, but on the other side of the bridge the sign for the train station is missing so we don't know whether to turn left or right.  So there's a sign with "gare" in it, so we pick that direction. But then everything ends, and there are no more buildings or houses.  So the one kid decides to go off and continue looking for the train station along the road.  So the rest of us wait.  The the other kid sees some people, so he figures its much more reliable to ask locals, so he goes off to ask them, leaving Steph and me with all of our luggage, in what might just be someone's very wide driveway in front of some sort of very large shed.  But thankfully we don't see anyone.  The boy who asked for directions comes back first, but after a while; apparently the people had walked away, and he had went to ask some people who were having a picnic.

Wall of the Chateau
  Unfortunately they didn't really know where it was.  

So we're just waiting for a very long time for the last boy to come back, and unfortunately he's the only person without a cellphone, so we can't even call him. Finally he comes back running, all out of breath, saying he's found it and there's a train in 15 minutes, and if we run we can just make it.  So we grab our stuff and start hurrying off, in a very quick pace, and the whole time we keep on checking the time.  We just barely end up making the train, the boy who didn't have luggage ran ahead and bought our tickets, and the rest of us had to struggle to carry all of our baggage (in our defense, we packed enough clothes for the whole trip, he was counting on finding a washing machine in the hostel in Prague)

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One of the outbuildings
One of the outbuildings
Courtyard
Courtyard
The gardens
The gardens
Wall of the Chateau
Wall of the Chateau
Window
Window
A private lake... not bad
A private lake... not bad
These plants had something that lo…
These plants had something that l…
fancy ceiling in the chateau
fancy ceiling in the chateau
aerial of the gardens (view from t…
aerial of the gardens (view from …
the tower
the tower
Villandry
photo by: Vikram