Thursday, May 17, 2012
Another wonderful breakfast at our B&B; owner/hostess Yveline was so attentive to all of our needs; I highly recommend the La Grange B&B if you are visiting Amboise.
Jim moved the car into a no parking spot from our overnight space several blocks away so that we could load the luggage. We had rain on and off all day so we took advantage of a dry spell and loaded early for our short drive.
It was about an hour and half to our first stop; the Chateau Villandry. This Chateau is one of our favorites because we love to visit the extensive gardens to see new ways of adding color to the garden. They are now using organic methods that have improved the color of the plants; a bit more expensive they said but worth the effort according to the gardeners with the happy faces!
The swans were out to entertain us and the carp obliged by opening their mouths wide as we pretended to drop food for them. Lots of fun and made the light raindrops seem to disappear. But Jim did have some trouble with his umbrella in the wind that whipped us around a bit now and then. We climbed to the highest level for better photos and then walked to the Maze to see how fast we could reach the raised platform in the center.
From Villandry it was not far to our hotel for the night in Chinon. When we reached town we had Fifi find us a Laundromat; Rick Steves tour book had an address for us to use! We’d bagged our laundry in preparation and each had a load…mixed so we used cold water and it worked perfectly. A lovely English lady was already there and had learned the ins and outs of the machines and was very helpful. She needed more change for the dryers and all of the stores around us were closed because it’s a French holiday! Assumption…all religious holidays are also National holidays.
Thanks to Jim…I had twenty Euros plus in change! I became the money changer! First, I gave Linda change, then the English lady and finally an American gentlemen who was doing his wife a favor by doing the laundry. It turns out that we are all staying in the same hotel! Our hotel for tonight is Hotel Diderot. The English lady…beautifully coifed and dressed … is traveling by bicycle…notice the photo… I could not believe it the way she was dressed and told her as much. She said they only had five pieces of luggage! Five! No way! Then the truth arrived…they are traveling by bicycle but all of their luggage is being transported from hotel to hotel by a van.
Such a lovely couple and we all had fun doing our laundry together. Jim and Terry had walked to the hotel while we started the laundry. They also walked through the weekly market that is near our hotel and Jim had brought back a slice of pizza for my lunch. After finishing the laundry we drove to the hotel and then Terry and Linda walked to a nearby Pub for lunch. We signed on to the Internet using the USB port from Paris. The wifi is totally down at the hotel because of a broker cable and can’t be repaired until tomorrow because of the holiday! So this will be posted tomorrow probably unless I find I have more time than I thought on that USB port of mine. The time expires on the 21st so might as well use it now.
This afternoon we toured Chateau Chinon…famous for the place where Joan d’Arc found the dauphin Charles and offered to win his crown for him…the rest is history. The fireplace where they met is now on the outside of a building…the room is gone. They are restoring parts of this chateau…it’s been about ten years since we were here and we were amazed at the changes. One of the things that they are using now in the only one of three original buildings that remain is very high tech imaging on large surfaces to tell the tale of Charles and Joan! We also climbed one of the towers and then called it a day.
This evening we had dinner at a small restaurant in town by the name of La Bonne France, recommended by our hotel. FANTASTIC…the service was over the top, the food was some of the best we’ve had on the trip and the price was very reasonable. Our ten minute walk home in daylight at 10 pm was delightful. We had a downpour of rain about 6 pm but it was clear as a bell for our dinner walk tonight.
It looks like I’ve got enough time of the USB Port to send this tonight so here goes. Tomorrow we have a very long drive to Dinan.