Friday, September 12, 2008

The Loir(e) Valley, France

Sept. 10, 2008 – The Loir Valley, France
It’s hard to believe this is real. Even though we’ve been to France several times before, we’re constantly discovering so many new things – kiwis the size of pears growing on vines that look like grapes, tomatoes that look like huge banana peppers, begonias the size of saucers, pears and apple trees shaped like topiaries and loaded with fruit – all in the stone and rock wall enclosed garden where I’m sitting right now behind the manor house, doves cooing, the smell of lavender filling the air and the weather absolutely perfect.
So many things are different than we’ve experinced in Spain – libraries and churches have doors standing wide open all day – no charges to enter, even in the great cathedrals like Chartres. When we went into a phone store today to look for a surge protector for the computer, the man handed us a brand new one in the box and told us, “No charge”. Wow! When does that happen - anywhere?? The grocery stores are filled with local wines ($2 - $7.00 US per bottle!) and cheeses. We can’t wait until next week when we have our own kitchen. But for now we’ll just have to settle for a bottle of “Two Buck Charles”.

Sept. 11, 2009 - The Loire Valley, France
After leaving the northern Loir Valley, we traveled about ½ hour south to the Loire Valley (two different rivers, both pronounced the same). Wow, is that confusing?! Beautiful gardens at Villandry, but then it started to rain and the temperature dropped from 78 down to 55. That kind of ruined our walk through Azay-le-Rideau; so we headed for our B&B near Richelieu and with the help of the GPS in our Renault Scenic van, we came right to it. It’s a beautiful manor house with servants’ quarters. (That’s where we’re staying, of course - just like our last place.) The owners can probably never afford to keep the places they have without renovating and renting out the old stables, etc. It’s actually really nice and the rooms are larger than I would have expected – room for a table, desk area, seating area, etc. (Be sure to check out the pictures on our website.) But we’re not here to sit in a room! Hope the rain stops tomorrow!

No comments: