Chinon to Saumur

Trip Start May 23, 2013
Trip End Jun 28, 2013

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Flag of France  , Pays de la Loire,
Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Last leg of Le Tour de Loire today apart from two loop rides from Saumur over the next two days.
Forgot to mention something about Col's entree last night. One of the accompaniments to the Rabbit Terrine was 'multigrain mustard ice-cream'!!!! Taste sensation was amazing. You should try it some time!
Today the ride took the cyclists (and the support crew) to the small town/village of Fontevraud, home of Abbey de Fontevraud. It is one of the largest monastic cities from the Middle Ages. It began in 1101 with a mixed community under the rule of women. Between 1189 and 1204 it became a royal tomb being the resting place of Henry II and Richard the Lion Heart. Between 1790 and 1792 with the dissolution of religious orders the last Abbess and nuns were expelled. In 1804 it became a prison and between 1939 and 1944 several hundred members of the French Resistance were imprisoned here. The prison officially ended in 1963 and in 1975 a Cultural Centre was created on the site. In 2000 it was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List of the Loire Valley.
The group spent an hour here then travelled down the hill to the town of Montsoreau where the Vienne River meets the Loire River. We managed to find a picnic spot behind the Tourist Information centre for another enjoyable lunch of baguettes etc etc (all these carbohydrates are not going well for my diet!!!) 
We then drove along the Loire to Saumur. Lots of cave houses built into the cliffs along the way some even being hotels and B&B's. Our hotel is in the centre of town and we have been given one of the nicer rooms!
Meanwhile the cyclists travelled the long way via the troglodyte caves visiting a few of them along the way. Didn't arrive at the hotel until 5ish. Briefing at 6pm with discussion about what is planned/offered for the next two days. Most are planning a lay day for tomorrow and have a final ride on Thursday. The hire car has been returned so hope no one needs a lift!
Out to dinner with another couple from the group, Tony and Deloraine. Not as posh as the previous night but still very enjoyable and interesting.
We can sleep in tomorrow as Col has decided not to ride. Yeah!!!!

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