Tag Archives: river Loire

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

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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, 31st December 2012

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Amboise 2012 064

A Festive Amboise

This is our third time at this very convenient and well equipped motorhome aire with a fantastic view of Amboise Château.  We had such a wonderful time last New Year’s Eve that we decided to come back and welcome 2013 at one of our favourite places in France and, where better that right on the banks of the river Loire?  We were more than happy to pay the €20 for our two-day stay here, as it has clean water and electricity included in the price, not to speak of the extremely pleasant walk all around L’Île d’Or, right in the middle of the river, dividing the north and south parts of the town.

 

A festive Amboise

A festive Amboise

 

We arrived yesterday after spending one night at Vars, practically on top of the Charente, as the river was so swollen it had burst its banks and the place we had chosen to stop for the afternoon at Le Portal was badly flooded and we were worried that if it rained again, we might get stuck.  Still, we spent a very pleasant afternoon there and Adonis managed to do some fishing for the first time this holiday and caught two roach.  Vars is just about 10km north of Angouleme, as we were quite keen to find a new overnight stop in the Charente area in order to have more options for the future.

 

The swollen rive Charente at Vars, our overnight stop

The swollen river Charente at Vars, our overnight stop

 

A flooded Le Porta,l where Le Charente burst its banks

A flooded Le Porta,l where Le Charente burst its banks

 

From Vars we went back on the A10 north of Poitiers, Châtellerault and Tours, where we came off at junction 22, south of La Loire and east on D751 to Amboise in time for lunch.

 

Sasha enjoying a good run by the Loire on L'Ile d'Or

Sasha enjoying a good run by the Loire on L’Ile d’Or

After our afternoon walk with Sasha around L’Île d’Or, we went into town to admire the Christmas decorations and enjoy a beer in one of the many lively café bars along the main street by the Château.

 

Christmas lights at Amboise

Christmas lights at Amboise

 

Christmas lights at Amboise

Christmas lights at Amboise

 

This morning I went on a long search for mussels and king prawns, as we fancied these as our last supper of the year.  I first went into the town on the south side of the river, but I couldn’t find a fishmongers or a supermarket selling fresh shellfish, but plenty of oyster sellers on little stalls on the street.  I asked a gentleman who looked local, as he had a carrier bag with shopping in it, and he told me to cross the bridge to the north side and find the market there.  I followed my instinct out of town until I saw signs for Aldi and Intermarché.  I tried the first, but had nothing in the way of fresh fish and so I carried on to Intermarché in Villeret, where I struck lucky and got what I needed.  I was surprised to see it was nearly noon by the time I got back to the van, as I’d left at 10am!

 

Posing by Leonardo da Vinci Statue at L'Ile d'Or

Posing by Leonardo da Vinci Statue at L’Ile d’Or

 

I quickly got changed and we set off to visit Château du Los Lucé Parc Leonardo da Vinci, home to the Artist/Genius from 1516 to 1519 and where he died on 2nd May 1519.  We thoroughly enjoyed our tour of the place and it seemed quite surreal to be standing where he’d lived and worked and by the bed in which he died.  We particularly enjoyed the models (both small and life-size) of the inventions he dreamt of, tanks and aeroplanes included.  We loved the fact that there is an exhibition of interactive life-size models in Leonardo’s Garden for people to admire and enjoy and we couldn’t resist the temptation of trying them out: great for children of all ages (especially those pushing 50!).

Trying out one of Leonardo's inventions (an early tank)

Trying out one of Leonardo’s inventions (an early tank)

 

The prototype for a helicopter

The prototype for a helicopter

 

A parachute

A parachute

 

Car and bicycle

Car and bicycle

 

Double staircase: you can see people on the opposite side, but you never meet!

Double staircase: you can see people on the opposite side, but you never meet!

 

Various models of Leonardo's inventions

Various models of Leonardo’s inventions

 

Tank model

Tank model

 

A paddle steamer in Leonardo's Garden

A paddle steamer in Leonardo’s Garden

 

Leonardo's study

Leonardo’s study

 

Leonardo's bed

Leonardo’s bed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We made it back to the van for 2pm for a later than usual lunch, followed by a quick siesta and another walk around the island and we are now going to get ready to celebrate New Year’s eve with the king prawns and mussels I walked so far to get.

I wonder if we’ll come back here next New Year’s eve again!

 

 

 

Amboise Château, Friday 15th April 2011

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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

Amboise, Thursday 14th April 2011

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View of Château and river Loire from aire at Amboise

We are now at a very convenient and well maintained aire by the river Loire at Amboise, a very pretty and interesting medieval town; it sort of reminds me of Canterbury.  The aire costs just 8 E a night, which includes electricity: great value for money for a room with a FANTASTIC VIEW!

It’s 5.45 pm and I have just come back from a long walk through the town, including a steep climb to the view point by Château, where we took some panoramic pictures of lovely views of the town nestled amongst the trees of every imaginable colour.

Amboise Château

 

 

 

We set off this morning from Lac des Varennes with a quick stop at Le Clerc in Château-du-Loir.  Then we followed the D938 and D5 at Beaumont-La-Ronce, all the way to Amboise, where we arrived at about 12.30pm.  We had lunch and then I walked Bramble along river and through public park just by aire.  It’s all superb and tomorrow we are planning to visit the Château.

Amboise town form viewpoint

 

 

 

Amboise from river walk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amboise bridge on the river Loire

 

 

 

 

Amboise aire