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Last Day in the Loire, part 11

[ NEW YORK, NY - NYC - 5/31/2015 - www.Littleviews.com ]

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May 31: Hunting Chateau On the Last Day in the Loire.

>> On our last day (Sunday) in the Loire area, we drove around catching the remaining sites on our check list. As it was a cool day (I still had not purchased a jacket) and I was on a low-protein jag (sleepy), I napped in the car while Phil explored a few chateau.

    Food Issues: I have learned that unless you order fish or eggs, meals in French bistros can be skimpy on protein servings. This means that for the past 40 hours or so, I existed on a flour diet. Unfortunately, it being Sunday in France, we were not able to find an open restaurant after 4:30PM, the only Loches' McDonald's was closed, and grocery stores of all sizes were shut. Amazingly, a fabulous patisserie near our hotel was open at 6:30PM, so I purchased and consumed more flour-based goodies. Note that I slept well that night!

Anyway, while I nodded off in the morning, Phil toured the chateau in Amboise. This city is not nearly as interesting as Chinon, although it fronts river-park setting that's perfect for strolling. There are several nice restaurants along Amboise's main street near the Tourist Information Center, but there are multiple-times more in the area leading up to the chateau (see below), which is more picturesque.

Next, we traveled to the Chateau de Montpoupon, This country chateau is by nothing else and is the only one we've seen so far that is so isolated. Nevertheless, the structure is very imposing! Montpoupon is also one of Phil's favorites as he was fascinated to learn about hunting "back in the day."

We tried to enter Montrichard two times, but failed in our attempts. This castle was built for defense in the 1000s by Foulques Nerra, the Count of Anjou. "Foul" (his nickname) was an extremely nasty individual who whipped just about everyone's ass, yet lived into his 70s, savoring every minute of his conquests. WOW, now that is interesting and had we had more time, we would have hunted down more of his digs, with at least one other being in Loches' Royal City.

The first time we entered the village, we had no problem seeing the castle, but couldn't find the entrance. The second time, we found the entrance after traveling the wrong way on a one-way street (this type of traffic engineering always works like a charm), but it was too late to go in.

Had we found it earlier in the day, I absolutely would have struggled up and down several hundred steps to access it. I mean, learning about a tyrant's castle is much more interesting than seeing a "lady's chambers," don't you think?

Between trying to see Montichard twice, we drove to Chaumont Sur-Loire (the famed chateau of King Henry II's lover, Diane de Poitiers), but neither of us wanted to stay as we arrived around 3:30PM. The history behind this chateau is much more complex than a sex scandal, but frankly, even though it had a rousing past, we were both more interested in Montrichard, which is why we doubled back to try to find its entrance.

Chaumont overlooks the Loire River. To give us all a taste of the period, historical looking boats are docked at the shore, all of which are very authentic except for their outboard motors.

On our way back to Loches, Phil made a wrong turn and in order to correct it, a second one. Not to be challenged by a human, from that point, our GPS directed us through a farmer's field.

I had hoped that when we returned to Loches, we would take pictures of all the cave dwellings we saw along its main streets. Unfortunately, it was becoming too dim, so we left without taking pictures of the most complex dwellings. The one below is was in Loches' Royal City and you can see a structure that leads into the cave to the right of the obvious "hole."

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Karen Little - Karen@Littleviews.com

Article series by Karen Little for www.Littleviews.com. Photos by Karen and Phil Little. Series began on May 13, 2015. All rights reserved.

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