Sunday, October 29, 2017

Returning home

On the last day in France we had a taxi ride back to Azay le Rideau, unfortunately the wine shop there wasn't yet open so we settled for a supermarket shop in Angers after another trip along quiet roads and a picnic next to the Loire - at St Martin de la Place? Then back to the coast and a drive to Mont St Michel:
it's a long walk
We'd never been before and didn't manage it this time either - too little time before the ferry left - and it's a long walk from the car park but we got good views! Maybe another year?

All in all an enjoyable and not too testing trip!

Mutterings - Oct 29

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Needless :: Pain
  2. Adoption :: Care
  3. Chart :: Pie
  4. Strings :: Attached
  5. Anatomy :: Bone-structure
  6. Sail :: Wind
  7. Reference :: Employment
  8. Depressed :: Sleepless
  9. Focused :: There
  10. Stolen :: Kisses

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Mutterings - Oct 17

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. I’m sorry! :: trod on toe..
  2. Weather :: Tempest (Ophelia)
  3. Marketing :: Empty
  4. Planning :: Meeting
  5. Anxiety :: Stress
  6. Ringing :: Peal
  7. Kim :: Kipling (or maybe Regan)
  8. Details :: Explicit
  9. Backspace :: C-d
  10. Period :: Free (the power of memory of education!)

Monday, October 16, 2017

A final walk to the Loire

There were 2 suggested walks for the final day - we took the longer one - we were clearly feeling fit for this holiday - though it was a walk at Inntravel's easiest level.

A walk through Candes St Martin - we passed through here but didn't stop on our scenic route on the way to the walk start from St Malo - after a panoramic view from the hill above the village of the confluence of the Loire and the Vienne. A trip around the church and then on to Montsoreau - we took the simpler route along the river and found the château.

Montsoreau château

After a lunch at La Dentellière a creperie - I have a photo of the menu somewhere..
Then a walk back to Fontevraud with a view of a windmill


and then another wonderful meal at La Croix Blanche - a fitting climax to the last walking day!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Mutterings - Oct 15

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Stock :: Car
  2. Village :: Hotel
  3. Show :: Fete
  4. Heartbreak :: Hotel
  5. Ding! :: Dinner (bell!)
  6. Had to :: Blackmail
  7. Henry :: II (see other blogging!)
  8. Pasta :: Pesto
  9. Theft :: Shock
  10. River :: Weeds

Fields and Vineyards to Fontevraud

Today was another long walk but again easy following the GR3 - this was the refreshment stop - we only had a coffee.

We got to Fontevraud early afternoon and after a brief rest a look around the château - the tombs of Richard and Henry II and some spooky art exhibits. We were staying the Hostellerie la Croix Blanche right opposite the château - we had a warm welcome and enjoyed a wonderful meal there that evening. The meal included in the stay was great but we wished we'd paid extra for the meal with matching wines as it wasn't available the next evening. If you're staying there and fancy that alternative don't delay!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Around Chinon

In Chinon we stayed at the Hotel de France a bit anonymous but very comfortable and friendly - and very close to the castle. We spent the morning on a trip around the castle - far older and more mediaevalthan the rest of the Loire. We saw it from a distance on various trips past over the years so it was good to have a look around. Jeanne d'Arc met Charles VII here and it's also much associated with Henry II and Richard (of England).


For lunch we had sausage, cheese and wine(!) at La Cabane à Vin a very pleasant pavement cafe close to the main square had a restful afternoon and then ate at Le Gandoyau again much enjoyed.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

to Chinon

The next day was the longest walk of the holiday from Ussé to Chinon, by mainly forested paths. We had the wettest weather of the holiday but only gentle drizzle. At Parenterie there's supposed to be a cafe but it was closed and from the notice it looked as if when the building work finished it was going to open as something else! There's - at around 90 minutes before you get to the hotel in Chinon a sign telling you you're entering the town. We got lost after this point - we think we mistakenly kept to the edge of the vineyard - a strong temptation - rather than leaving it behind! You then pass the Chapel of Ste Radegonde - but we were unfortunately too late in the season and it was closed. In the evening we ate at La Table de Jeanne and greatly enjoyed it, we were well fed - only a few staff but we were well served.

Chinon Forteresse
Here's a view from near the Chapel of Ste Radegonde looking towards the Forteresse with a cat getting itself into the picture!

Monday, October 09, 2017

From a Curtain to the Sleeping Beauty!

..or walking from Azay le Rideau to Ussé (the castle that was the inspiration - probably - of the the sleeping beauty story)!

A short taxi ride after a farewell to Azay (and our car!) heralded the start of a delightful walk by the side of the Indre. The notes warned us of mosquitos but we must have been too late in the season as we didn't notice any.

The route finding looked tricky on the map but was in fact fairly easy - the notes reference Pissarro paintings and our lunch spot - see the picture - reinforced the impression.

Indre impression

This spot was just off the path and had some lovely treestumps for sitting on - there aren't many other obvious places for a picnic. Then the walk into Ussé and a stay at the Clos d'Ussé - simple but comfortable and a visit in the remainder of the afternoon to the château, see the album for photos.

Sunday, October 08, 2017

Azay le Rideau

There were other parties at the Hotel de Biencourt so breakfast was busy - but very good and after an inspection of the local market for fruit for lunch we headed to the château. We had a first conversation at the market with 3 Canadian women who we'd seen at Les Grottes the previous evening and were doing the same walk as us.
finding the ideal spot
We'd visited this château in the 1990s but then had children in accompaniment! A gentle trip around the château was much enjoyed.
Then the first walk - a short circular one - with a visit to the Troglodytique les Goupillières - an outdoor museum of mediaeval (and up to 19th century) agriculture - lots of interesting old implements, I was reminded of the quirky Milhaud song cycle Machines Agricoles. Back in Azay we enjoyed eating at La Credence just a few yards from the hotel.

Saturday, October 07, 2017


We've recently returned from a walking holiday in the Loire - Châteaux and Vineyards! arranged by Inntravel (again!). We travelled to France by car taking the ferry from Portsmouth to St Malo and taking a more leisurely route to our first night in Azay le Rideau we stopped for lunch in Saumur and saw these umbrellas - Saumur Umbrellas
After a lunch of crepes and cider we reached Azay and enjoyed an afternoon inspecting restaurants for the evening - quite a few of the recommended ones seemd to be closed on that Tuesday - though it was heading out of season - but we much enjoyed Les Grottes, I had the duck the alcoholic sorbet and a fishy(?) starter, and there was wine...before thinking about the local château and walk for the first full day. The album of photos is on flickr here but still needs a few adding/tagging.

Mutterings - Oct 7

This week's free word associations from Unconscious mutterings are:
  1. Biography :: Ghosted (though that's probably an 'autobiography')
  2. Twitter :: Thread
  3. Circumstance :: Pomp (Elgar)
  4. Welcome :: Mat
  5. Partner :: Sleeping
  6. Trick :: Sleeve (nothing up my...)
  7. Disease :: Noxious
  8. Inform :: Police
  9. Weekly :: Post!
  10. Shred :: Confidential