Wednesday: Cheille' to Villandry

Today we get on track.  We have working bikes and the weather appears cooperative.  After a typical French breakfast of croissants, we head out for Villandry.

We've decided to make time for lunch, so we don't run out of energy as the day progresses...

A Word about the French Language...

 Not being a world class linguist, I figured it would be a good idea to prepare for the trip by refreshing my last French class (summer school after fifth grade).  Before our '98 Italy trip, I purchased a set of language tapes several months before leaving and by the time we took the trip, was semi-fluent (OK, I could ask where the bathroom was and order a beer, though not necessarily in that order).  Italian was relatively easy to pick up, perhaps it's due to the similarity to Spanish.  French was a different story.  We were making the trip with little lead time, and I couldn't find a set of Pimsleur language tapes.  Combine that with my inability to remember most verb forms, and we're back to the Marcel Marceau School of French.   But I could say "I am an American" and "I don't understand" like a native. 

Actually, we thought things were working out pretty well.  A lot of the French people, even in the smaller villages, spoke a bit of English, and with a phrase book you can always point to a phrase.  This system worked pretty well until we stopped for lunch in a bar in a small town.  I thought I had ordered a ham and cheese sandwich with a side of fries.  What I got was a ham and cheese and french fry sandwich.  No wonder the waitress looked at me like that. My only regret is that I failed to take a picture of the sandwich.

The Chateau at Villandry is known for its gardens.  Even the kitchen garden is beautiful.

 VillandryEntrance.jpg (96291 bytes)   VillandryGarden.jpg (184987 bytes)  VillandryGarden2.jpg (123483 bytes)

    Entrance                    Kitchen Garden        Formal Garden

 VillandryGarden3.jpg (106396 bytes)  VillandryOnTower.jpg (92674 bytes)  VillandryWater.jpg (159370 bytes)

Formal Garden            On the Tower            Water Feature

We spend the night in a hotel next to the Chateau.  The hotel is OK, but makes us appreciate the B&B's we normally stay in.  It did have the advantage of a couple of resident Labradors so Jayne got her dog fix, even if the dogs didn't speak English.

On to Thursday...