Amboise aire, Saturday 31st December 2011

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We stayed two nights at La Suze-sur-Sarthe and the second day turned out to be quite sunny, but chilly.  We walked into the town and around the market, but there wasn’t much of particular interest.  Adonis continued with his fishing, although he didn’t catch anything, and I continued with my crocheting and reading.

aire at St Genouph by the Loire

On Friday morning we left following the D12 to La Flèche, the D308 to Baugé, the D766 east to Chateau La Vallière and D34 south to Villandry and St Genouph, just west of Tours, where we stayed all afternoon and spent the night.  St Genouph is a tiny village  right by the river Loire, very quiet and just perfect for an overnight stay, behind the church and Marie in the village free car park.

This morning we just drove to Tours itself and parked by the Cathedral of St Gatien, where we admired the numerous 13thcentury stained glass windows and the stories they told, especially the martyrdoms of the various saints, like St Martin.  They are all quite amazing, as are the rose window and the majestic gothic faҫade.  Apparently, on a sunny day, all these windows project some incredible colours inside the cathedral, but today’s been a gloomy grey day and unfortunately we didn’t see this spectacle.

 

Tours' St Gatien Cathedral

We then walked into the old quarter and admired the Renaissance faҫade of Hotel Gouin and went looking for the Ecole des Langues Vivantes to see the sculpted figures mentioned in the guide book, but it proved to be a fruitless task, as we were getting tired and only had 30 minutes left on the car park ticket.  We had a coffee instead in the Rue du Grand Marché and enjoyed the old half-timbered houses dating from the XII to XV centuries, some of them so crooked and slanting that it’s a miracle they are still standing.  They reminded me a little of Canterbury.

 

Stained-glass windows in Tours cathedral

Back in the van, we carried on east out of Tours to Amboise, north of the river on the D952 and were here for 12 noon.  We have paid 20€ for two nights and I had another moment’s panic when the machine wouldn’t read the ticket, no matter which way I inserted it.  I pressed the help button and a helpful assistant sorted it out for us.  So here we are again opposite the Château: an aire with a view indeed, just superb and well worth the money.

 

 

Rose window at Tours's cathedral

 

Half-timbered houses in Tours old quarters

Hotel Gouin's faҫade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve just come back from a long walk with Bramble to the end of the Île D’Or and are about to have a shower ready for our New Year’s Eve meal at the Lion D’Or just on the other side of the bridge, which we booked from home.  It should be quite special.

Amboise on New Year's Eve

Surprise pudding at the Lion d'Or

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adonis has been complaining about a pain on his left knee and has been limping a bit today, so I hope he’ll be alright for tonight, but he might need to see a doctor when we return home.

 

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