Shopping, Eating and Exploring

Come along with me and discover some off-the beaten paths in Southwest France

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Chinon and the Loire

We are experiencing beautiful, sunny, warm weather. Very unfrench-like. It's great to return to the Loire Valley and show it to my husband and friends who have never been there under ideal weather conditions. We ate lunch outside in the square today, and last nights dinner as well.

Chinon is a lovely town, tucked in the shadow of an towering chateau fortress. When I was here two years ago, other than the best tartare du boeuf I've ever had, I remember walking through the ruins of the chateau. No roof, crumbling walls, exposed fireplaces. This is the place that the young Joan of Arc met the French King Henry II, to implore him to take back France from the British. Today, there is much activity in Chinon. There is a roof, walls are being rebuilt, and they have added an elevator to get people from the village to the chateau. When we walked up to the elevator, the sign asked us to please understand, but it was not operating due to work. My friends husband pushed the button, the door opened, and up we went. Pas probleme.

The best part of the 16th Century hotel we are staying in? I can see the tower and ramparts of the chateau as I lie in bed. My least favorite part? Fourth floor, no elevator here.

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