Tag Archives: Île d’Or

Camping Des Bords de l’Eure, Chartres, Tuesday 28th October 2014

Stunning Chartres Cathedral

Stunning Chartres Cathedral


We have spent two lovely days at this charming and convenient campsite by the river Eure, enjoying all the space around us under oak tress and with a superb walk just outside along the river which, will take you all the way to the city, a mere 3 km away. As usual, the pitches are very generous and the shower and toilet blocks are immaculate, which makes any stay all the more pleasant. We’ve only paid €30.44 for the two nights, electricity included, thanks to our ACSI card.


Our generous pitch at Camping Des Bords de l'Eure

Our generous pitch at Camping Des Bords de l’Eure


We came here, of course, mainly to visit the famous Cathedral, which is very impressive indeed, with some jaw-dropping architectural features, not to speak of its intricate carvings inside and outside, especially around the choir. The most amazing thing about it is that it was built in only 30 years, during the first quarter of the XIII century and thus, it has great architectural unity of the Gothic period. I was very impressed by the flying buttresses and the triple portals on three of the entrances, with stunning detailed stone carvings, the stained-glass windows, in particular the amazing blue of Notre-Dame de la Belle Verrière (or Blue Virgin Window), simply exquisite, but they are all superb, all 172 of them, almost all of which date back to the XIII, forming one of the most important samples of medieval stained-glass in the world!


One of the Triple Portals of Chartres Cathedral

One of the jaw-dropping  Triple Portals of Chartres Cathedral


Close-u of Portal stone carvings

Close-u of Portal stone carvings


Stone carvings above door

Stone carvings above door


Stunning Notre Dame de la Belle Vierge or Blue Virgin stained- glass  window

Stunning Notre Dame de la Belle Verriere or Blue Virgin stained- glass window


Magnificent Rose Window

Magnificent Rose Window


Exquisite choir stone carvings

Exquisite choir stone carvings


Flamboyant flying buttresses

Flamboyant flying buttresses


A sun dial

Angel holding a sundial


Another sundial?

I love this clock



Near the Choir there is another religious wonder: The Sainte Voile, or Holy Veil, safely kept in an elaborate guilded frame, said to have been worn by the Virgin Mary when she gave birth to Jesus. Belonging first to the Imperial Treasury of Constantinople, but offered to Charlemagne by the Empress Irene when the Emperor proposed marriage to her in 802, it has been in Chartres since 876, when Charles the Bald presented it to the town, and the Cathedral was built because the Holy Veil survived the fire of 1194. Amazing!


The Holy Veil (worn my Mary when giving birth to Jesus)

The Holy Veil (worn my Mary when giving birth to Jesus), the reason behind the building of the Cathedral


On the way back from the Cathedral, we stopped briefly at the Church of St Pierre, a former Benedictine Monastery of the VII century , which also exhibits very impressive architecture.


Church of St Peter's

Church of St Pierre with beautiful flying buttresses


Since leaving Étang Neuf last Friday, we have stopped at various motorhomes aires, the first one being Les Roches l’Évêque in the Loir-et-Cher department. This is a very pretty free aire by the river with some lovely chrysanthemums at the edge of an allotment, but I would have liked a better walk nearby for Beano, as we couldn’t walk along the river bank because both ends of the aire were closed off. Still, it was quiet and peaceful and we had a lovely view of the river and cliffs above.


A very pretty location for motorhome aire at Les Roches l'Eveque

A very pretty location for free motorhome aire at Les Roches l’Eveque


We spent Saturday in beautiful Amboise, at the gated motorhome aire (€12 a day, but can be paid by the hour too) on Ile d’Or, right in the middle of the river Loire, with stunning views of the Château and town.  As always, we enjoyed a walk in the town and watching the world go by whilst having a coffee and a delicious cake at Bigot Café and Patisserie, founded in 1913 and just exquisite.


Gorgeous Amboise seen from Ile d'Or on the River Loire

Gorgeous Amboise seen from Ile d’Or on the River Loire


Amboise Chateau

Amboise Chateau


As the clocks went back on Sunday morning, we enjoyed that extra hour in bed, still getting up at around 8 o’clockish by the new autumn time, and after breakfast and dog-walk, we joined the D952 east, past Blois and followed diversion signs south of Blois to continue on D951 to Lailly-en-Val, about 12 miles south west of Orléans. Here, we stopped for the day at the pretty aire by the lake, where Adonis enjoyed a spot of fishing after lunch and even managed to catch a 17 lb carp, which really put the icing on the cake.


Driving past Blois

Driving past Blois on the River Loire


This aire is also free and has free water and public toilets. The area around the lake proved to be very popular with the locals and, being a beautiful warm and sunny Sunday, there were quite a few people fishing and walking and children playing in the playground.


Motorhome aire at Lailly-en-Val

Motorhome aire at Lailly-en-Val


Enjoying a walk round the lake on a sunny Sunday afternoon

Enjoying a walk round the lake on a sunny Sunday afternoon


Round the lake at pretty Lailly-en-Val

Round the lake at pretty Lailly-en-Val


We left yesterday morning to join the A10 at J.15, just south west of Orléans to J.12 to join the N154 to Chartres, where we arrived for 10.30 am, after a very bumpy ride on some sections of the road that had been prepared for resurfacing.


We have made an appointment at the vet in Pont de l’Arche for tomorrow afternoon, so that’s where we’ll spend the day. After that, it will probably be Le Crotoy on the Bay of the Somme, still one of my favourite stops in France, followed by Escalles and home on Saturday morning.


Amboise aire, 1st January 2012


Dainty dishes at Le Lion d'Or, Amboise

Today is New Year’s Day!  We limped home last night after a very good meal.  We thought we had a choice for each course that appeared on the menu, but they actually served us everything on it, but in small portions, sometimes served in dainty miniature china terrines, almost like a child’s play set.  We especially enjoyed the mid-dinner freshener kilner jar helping of forest fruits in rosé wine sorbet: delicious and wonderful to clean the palate.  Definitely something we had never come across before. A lovely evening and some very nice wine, especially the half bottle of Chinon Rouge.  

Delicate and delicious desserts


After we finished, we crawled across the bridge, with Adonis limping because of his knee, and got back to the van at about 11.40 pm.  We hang around for 20 minutes to see the New Year in.  There was a firework somewhere and that was it!  It was a very quiet end of year night.  We slept very well, except that I had a bit of a headache and had to take some aspirin at 3 am (I blame the champagne).


Limping back to motorhome!

We got up later than usual at 9.30 am and Adonis took Bramble for a long walk in the Ile d’Or, as his knee was feeling much better.  I went off to find some bread and a ‘Religeuse’ (a coffee cake similar to a profiterole) and then we just lazed around. 


It’s warm, but cloudy and tomorrow we’ll fill up with water, go to Auchan in Tours and then head towards Saumur, where we’ll stop for the night, hopefully at Concourson-sur-Layon’s aire.  We think we’ll then make a dash for the coast, maybe we’ll even see the sun! 

New Year's Day walk in Ile d'Or


Amboise aire, Saturday 31st December 2011


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.


Amboise Château, Friday 15th April 2011


Château Amboise

We visited the Château this morning, which took just over two hours and thoroughly enjoyed the various rooms, furniture, paintings, architecture and gardens.  It felt quite weird to be standing by Leonardo da Vinci’s tomb inside St Hubert’s  Chapel, which also has quite amazing features with carvings of various animals, including stag antlers on the spire!: I’d never seen anything like that before.

Spire with antlers at St Hubert's Chapel






The gardens were also very interesting and they commanded a wonderful view of the river and the town in general.

Château Amboise's Gardens



After visit, we had a lovely strong coffee at one of the cafés near château and then gently strolled back to aire for lunch.

I took Bramble for long walk along the Loire again and this time I followed the path all the way round to Île d’Or and was almost tempted to do recommended ‘keep fit’  exercises along the way, or I would have done had I been wearing proper clothing instead of my skirt and sandals!


I got back to van just before 4 pm and had coffeee with Adon, then German lesson, followed by beautiful hot shower in van!  I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the luxury of hot water for shower and washing my hair and I’ve even varnished my fingernails!!!  Who says that travelling in a motor home is not glamorous?

View of the Loire river from Château Amboise

We are eating out tonight, so that will be our holiday treat and our 19th ‘meeting’ anniversary celebration, 5 days later, but that’s not important: we were just waiting for right moment.

The Tomb of Leonardo da Vinci