Early morning trip to Angers

Angers Travel Blog

 › entry 9 of 19 › view all entries
The old town

OK, history lesson before we dive into the day.... the Loire Valley is basically made up of 2 regions - Tourraine, the region around Tours which is known for its wine and Anjou in the lower Loire Valley of which Angers is the capital.

So with that said, apparently cribbing about the weather and cursing the weather Gods does help! I woke up on my final day in the Loire Valley to nice overcast skies and a cool breeze. I had a bit of a run-in with the moody sod hotel manager during b'fast (see my review of Hotel de Rosny), but that aside, I left for the 730am train to Angers. The bad news - it was about an hour's train ride. The good news - who cares?  the weather was beautiful and the fields finally started looking good!

Once I arrived Angers and started walking towards the old town (away from the fancy hi-tech railway station), I kind of started liking it.

This was my favourite bit - the steps towards the Cathedral
The town seemed older and more "cultural" than Tours, infact at one point I was almost berating myself for basing myself in Tours and not here! My first stop was the Cathedral. The impressive bits here weren't the Catherdral, but the lovely steps leading up to it, and the general cobbly quaint feel of the neighbourhood. There was a prayer going on when I went with that area sealed off, it was also a bit cold and drizzling outside so I spent some time in the cathedral. From here, it was a 5 min walk to the Chateau.

This Chateau, like Amboise is somewhat fortified. It's gorgeous. Or, was it the weather?

For one thing, I loved the gardens outside the towers but within the moat, very nice floral designs and nice choice of both flowers and complimentary colours. The chateau itself dates back from the 9th century, one of the older chateaus I've seen and at one time was the home of the notorious Black Falcon.

The Cathedral
Over time, the walls for the "fort" and over 17 towers were built creating a fortress. It later was converted to a prison by Louis XIV, and then a depot by the Nazis during WW2. Yes... all that history! Oh, and it got bombed by the Allies as well...!

The travel books ask you to start off with the tapestries although I wasn't in a mood for that, and ended up touring around the fortress to see the excellent courtyard with the fancy garden, the windmills, tower, chapel and the royal apartments. My favourite bit here was walking along the walls - with the cloudy weather and all, it brought back nice memories of my visit to York, England back in 2006. I was also very amused at how self contained the place is - in addition to the manicured gardens, it has its own tiny vineyard growing on top, and I loved how you  get to view the church from along the walls of the Chateau - again reminding me of the view of the York Minster from anywhere its walls.

The old town again - the narrow roads, cobbled pavements and rather dull washed out colour of buildings. Very nice!
Given that I had another biggie to visit, I headed back to the railway station by 1045am, picked up some expensive b'fast @ the railway station and headed back to Tours for the final stop in my Loire Valley visit - Blois.

Overall, I would say that my stay in Loire Valley may not have started on the right note what with the weather and the "is this it?!" feeling of the first lot of chateaus, but Angers did a fantastic job of redeeming the region in my eyes!

 

Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
The old town
The old town
This was my favourite bit - the st…
This was my favourite bit - the s…
The Cathedral
The Cathedral
The old town again - the narrow ro…
The old town again - the narrow r…
The fort of the Chateau
The fort of the Chateau
View of the river - thank God for …
View of the river - thank God for…
Very York-esque for me!
Very York-esque for me!
Another view of the old town from …
Another view of the old town from…
The lovely gardens
The lovely gardens
The vineyard atop the fort - very …
The vineyard atop the fort - very…
Again, York anyone?!
Again, York anyone?!
Lovely flowers/arrangement
Lovely flowers/arrangement
Right outside the railway station,…
Right outside the railway station…
yep, this set me back by at least …
yep, this set me back by at least…
Angers
photo by: Vikram