Monday, September 02, 2013

chateau land

Day 4

Another big road day.  We had a great run round and play at the campsite playground before heading off in the hopes that someone would sleep for a while.  It worked a treat.  Flew through Chartres, the cathedral standing proud on its hill.  Sleep dictated that we continued, heading south the whole time back out in to the flat plains again, all wheat and grain.  Through Tours centre, over the river Loire in the heart of chateaux country and hung a right.  Tania had been hard at work, cross referencing guide book, campsite book and atlas to find us our next overnight location.  A free camper van park literally just outside a chateau, with lovely restaurant along side.  It was nice to arrive early, and have the remainder of the afternoon to play with.  The bikes came off the back of Percy and we set off to explore.  How good was it to stretch our legs and get a bit of exercise after being on the road, lovely.  Alix loves her bicycle child seat and we covered a good 18km before returning for a great restaurant meal, the first of our trip.  We slept well in the company of so many other motor homes and woke to another sunny day.

bridge over the Loire River in Tours

Tania and Alix ready for a bike ride

Percy with some of his mates

Day 5

The gardens of the Chateau of Villandry were restored in the early 20th century by a foreigner (to France) who then went on to encourage the local chateaux into organised tourist attractions.  We decided to visit the gardens which were out of this world.  Not to copy or recreate, but just for the sheer grandeur and extravagance that the rich folk of bygone years were able to command.  I needn’t write much, just enjoy these photos.

Chateau Villandry

veggie plot

no, not for walking on

box, yew and russian lavender

less is more, and it can't get much less than this!!

an avenue view

great for spotting hearts and crowns

who imagined this in the first place?  what were they on?

Alix, Me and Tania 

We hit the road after lunch with the hope that we could reach Paranquet by dusk.  A tiny village on the borders of Dordogne and the Lot and Garonne where Mark lives.  A winter colleague and friend from Lou Rider, he has a great little house by a river and is spending summer cooking in the local campsite bar/restaurant.  I have said for the last three years that i would visit, and now is the perfect time.  Caroline, his girlfriend and her three kids are there for the summer, there’s a pool and plenty of great things to see.  A must visit.  

It was dark by the time we arrived, saved again by Charmin so we didn’t even get to see where we were till the morning.  I had a beer with Mark and a great catch up chat, it was lovely to see him and an added bonus that everyone else was there.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

.......happy memories for me as we went on our honeymoon to the Loire Valley....where Peter was dragged around numerous chateaux.....including the gorgeous Villandry....! Glad you are having some r & r xxxxx