Trip Start Jun 30, 2010
9Trip End Sep 26, 2010
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We will be very sad to leave here tomorrow after a great 3 weeks. We have really enjoyed staying in the cottage here. It is very comfortable and has all mod cons – even a dishwasher that we haven't bothered using. We still keep finding new things around the house every day. It is quite amazing. I have read books, watched DVDs, walked in the forest and drunk lots of wine. It is very true that there is so much wine and so little time to try it all. I have managed to get through quite a lot – can’t convert Rob though. He still prefers his beer. Saumur is a big area for sparkling wines so we have been to a few tours/tastings.
As well as wines, we have done the chateaus this week. We spent a rather wet day at Villandry which has the most amazing gardens and Azay de Rideau, another interesting chateau. They were both quite spectacular in their own way. Fortunately we were able to dodge the showers and see most of the gardens at dry times of the day. It was a good day and we enjoyed seeing how people lived in previous centuries. As usual, the age of all these places just blows us away. We really can’t comprehend things and places being 'so old’.
We also spent a day at Breze Chateau. This chateau has more underground than above the ground. It was quite amazing the way they lived. It was a very good chateau to visit-quite spectacular. There are so many and you don’t quite know which ones to go to. There was a lot of underground living in this area and I think there still is quite a lot
We had neighbours round for a drink one night then we went back there for dinner Friday night. We had a great night – drank far too much wine (but you do have to try it all). They are an English couple who moved over here 7 years ago for peace and quiet and open spaces. There seem to be a lot of English people here doing that. They are happy with the move and have made their old cottage into a lovely place with renovations. We really enjoyed their company.
Saturday after a very late night, we got up early and headed for Le Mans. Rob was keen to explore the racing car bit there. He went off to the museum and came back quite chuffed because they got to drive the circuit. He really enjoyed his afternoon. I spent my afternoon in a nearby shopping centre which was also very enjoyable. We also found Le Mans very interesting as a historical city. It is so old. We explored the old village, then waited until after dark (9.30pm) for the light show that features all round the town during summer. The huge old cathedral was the most spectacular with amazing scenes lighting up the walls
Another day we went to Fontevraud Abbey. This was also amazingly old. We learnt a bit more about the history of the area. Our knowledge of French history is rather limited but it is tied in with English history and some familiar bits come back as we travel around. Fortunately most places have a lot of info in English as well as French. (more than in Holland – but this is more of a tourist area).
I have sorted out the internet problems this week which has made life much easier. Instead of sitting beside the neighbour’s hedge, I can now sit in the bathroom and get very good access – not the most comfortable but great to just have that contact. Once we leave here on Friday we may not have reliable contact until we get home (25 September).
Today has been washing, cleaning and packing day. Tomorrow we will leave here and drive south to Toulouse where we will drop off our car on Monday. Then we are going to spend a week hiring a boat on the Canal Du Midi with Ewan and Wendy (Rob’s brother). It is Ewan’s 60th birthday later this month so they are coming over to celebrate with friends. After our week with them, we’ll head back to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam for a few days before flying home. Hopefully I’ll manage another blog somewhere along the way but I’m not sure.
Until next time
Carol & Rob