Hôtel Le Savoie
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We begin our day with a city tour of the city of Tours - once the capital of France. There is a University here, and a youthful vibe mixed with well-restored antiquities (of the architectural sort). Our leisurely ramble through town concludes at the City Hall, and a lovely lunch at Cafe L'Univers just across the street.
Our original afternoon schedule called for a short bike trip along the Loire River, but half of the group is not interested ...
... have upgraded to deluxe rooms and junior suites. All are spectacular, and some have views of the castle, and others have views of the Loire River.
A quick run into town for purchases of scarves and chocolate, plus a needed shot of caffeine. This evening we celebrate the birthday of one of our tour members. Not likely that Tom will ever forget this celebration in this special place!
We bid Adieu to Paris today, with the entire group together for the first time aboard a high speed train (TGV) to the town of Tours in the Loire Valley. We are in first class, of course, and traverse about 235 km in a little more than an hour! Why can't we have trains like this in the US?
We meet Catherine at the Tours train station. She is from the area, and will be our guide for the next six days. She takes charge right away, and is ...
... and dinner supplies. Having enjoyed an excellent lunch on the train we decided a dinner of French cheeses, pate, smoked salmon, avocado and strawberries, together with a baguette, would be the go – accompanied by a bottle of French wine.
Wednesday: We awoke to a brilliant day of sunshine and after breakfast we took ourselves off to the tourist information bureau to map out our plans for the next few days. ...
... some of the most sumptuous furnishings, tapestries and objets d'art anywhere in the Loire Valley. The same family has owned and inhabited the château for the last 600 years; highlights included seeing their private apartments, and an enormous guards room full of suits of armour (including one made for a 4 year old child), sets of chain mail and various ancient weapons of warfare. One of the photos below shows Charlie with a 16th century set of armour weighing 25kg, and a set ...