Thursday: Tours - Amboise

Today's a day of traffic riding.  We have to transit Tours, one of the larger cities on the route.  Our trip will take us to Amboise, with it's obligatory chateau.  

A note about chateaus...

They're everywhere.  The Loire was basically just a huge chateau subdivision, with the various royalty trying to keep up with the LeBeau's, and building bigger and more elaborate estates.  You can see the defensive roots in many of chateaus, which were regularly renovated to keep up with the latest style.  In fact, there was probably a big market for your basic 16th century Bob Vila type who would advise you on the best landscape treatment for your moat.  Regardless, if you've got an hour or so and a few francs to spare, you can get a taste of the high life of the kings of France.  Just don't forget to tip the toilette attendant (2 francs is appropriate).

We pick our way through Tours, and were able to bike right through the heart of the old city.  The weather is greatD3Road.jpg (124461 bytes) - we even have a bit of sun and blue skies,  D3Vineyard.jpg (158144 bytes)  sooooo -

It must be time for another hill.D3CountrySide.jpg (102392 bytes)


Amboise has the obligatory chateau that pretty much dominates the city.  The city is on the south bank of the Loire, and our B&B is south of the city.  We get to climb out of the city to our B&B and have the opportunity to meet several nice French people who help us find our way.  If only we spoke more French (though Claude says that I say "I don't understand a thing you're saying" with a very good French accent)...D3AnotherChateau.jpg (106111 bytes)D3ChateauBase.jpg (168446 bytes)D3ChateauRoof.jpg (86429 bytes)

My mastery of French comes in handy when we arrive at the B&B.  Our hosts, the ForrestersJayne&MrsForrest.jpg (129524 bytes), are a lovely couple who have about as much English between them as we have French.  We have a lovely visit with them while waiting for the taxi that will take us back to town for dinner (no hill climbing after dinner, you know).

After a short (2 1/2 hour) dinner, we're ready for bed.

On to Friday