Tours

Touraine Travel Blog

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Yuuuuuuummm!

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.

Cliff face properties...
...  We also explored the old town, which was so quaint and cute that you just had to smile just being there! So we of course stopped and soaked it up over a cup of our favourite creme cappuccino....

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.

Chateau Chenonceau!
I had no idea it was so big!!!! On our way back into the town, we also got to see these houses that are built into the cliff walls which I had heard about. I suppose you could almost equate them to the underground houses in Coober Peedy - I thought they were quite cool - they even have satellite TV in there!!

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.
Carrying precious patisserie cargo along River Cher. What skill!!
We cycled along the River Cher for 2 hours, passing corn fields, small townships and cute little French country farmhouses. We arrived in the town of Villandry and locked our bikes up so we could visit the chateau. We bought a ‘gardens only’ ticket, as we decided we had seen enough palatial interiors on our journey. The garden didn’t disappoint – 52 kilometres of box hedge enhanced the magnificent ornamental gardens that are completely replanted twice a year!!! We conquered another box hedge maze, admired the moat around the chateau, and then back on our bikes – complete with patisseries!!! We enjoyed our yummy/naughty treats in the sun by the river, and then rode back to the town…happy and free… but also a little sad, as we realised this was our last “real” day of our Great Big Fantastic Adventure….
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Yuuuuuuummm!
Yuuuuuuummm!
Cliff face properties...
Cliff face properties...
Chateau Chenonceau!
Chateau Chenonceau!
Carrying precious patisserie cargo…
Carrying precious patisserie carg…
Touraine
photo by: suzchch