Touraine Travel Blog› entry 64 of 65 › view all entries
We spent 4 nights in the lovely Loire Valley region.... and on most of these nights we soaked up our last chance to devour with delight the French cheese and wine we had come to love (not only for the taste, but also for the authentic bottom line French price!). These tasting sessions (or pig outs more likely!) were held in our cute little French hotel room as an entree to our evening meal!
Exploring the town and the surrounding chateaux was our reason for the extended stay (most other Busabout passengers stay 2 nights - if that - and thought we were quite strange for staying 4!!!). But we were both thoroughly glad we did, as we filled all our days and had an amazing time doing so!
Firstly, the city itself was really quite nice - not so big you needed public transport, but not so small there was nothing to do!! We spent some time wandering along the main street, Rue Nationale, which was very clean and modern, and I accidentally bought a pair of shoes.
Our next exciting adventure was out to the town of Amboise which has its own chateau, but more importantly ( I think ) it is home to the Chateau Du Clos Luce - where Leonardo Da Vinci lived from 1516 til he died 3 years later. The chateau itself is lovely and old; the gardens are fantastic and there are many interactive exhibits of Da Vinci's 'ahead of his time' inventions. We spent some time strolling around the property, and also visited the temporary exhibition of Da Vinci's famous 'Last Supper' - a life-size replica which was great to see as we missed out on seeing the original.
The third chateau we saw was the 16th century Chateau Chenonceau - a 15 minute train ride away. This is my kind of fairy-tale castle, complete with towers, moat, and it's built over a river....GORGEOUS!!! We listened to the audioguide (this was actually on an Ipod!!!!!) through the gardens and inside - I love the wild, colourful and strange history of this place. We played in the garden maze before catching the train back to town for another of our wine/cheese feasts.Our last day in Tours we hired bikes to enjoy the Loire Valley close up.