Written June 2017
July 17-18: Tours, France
Sites: Among the top contenders of places I wish to return to is the Loire Valley. Dawn highly recommended it, and after much resistance we listened. And I’m so glad we did. We spent a full day biking between chateauxs. Upon picking up our bikes Lance dropped one of our padlocks into a riverbed below. He went in search for it but it was lost in the mud. At the time it was really frustrating to him and funny to me.
First we saw Langeais Chateau, the least impressive of the ones we visited. Unfortunately it was under construction and in the middle of town, so it lacked the wow factor. Next we visited Chateau Azay le Rideau. According to our guidebook: “Built in the 1500s on an island in the Indre River, this romantic, moat-ringed wonder flouts geometric windows, ordered turrets and decorative stonework.” We took a full tour and enjoyed a peak at what life was like back then — much more advanced than I would’ve thought. Last we pedaled to Chateau de Villandry, the pinnacle of them all. It’s gardens were glorious — we didn’t even go inside. We were drenched in sweat, it was humid and on our way out it started to lightly rain. I remember feeling like we earned our keep that day.
Lodging: In Tours we stayed at Hotel Rosard, a boutique hotel listed in our guidebook, “The Lonely Planet.” The book’s description, which we found to be quite accurate, is this: “This recently renovated hotel offers comfort and good value. Halls are lined with colourful photographs, while the sleek, modern and immaculate rooms incorporate muted tones of grey with sparkling white linens.” I remember being quite satisfied with the ambiance, comfort and location. I particularly remember a yummy bakery nearby where we found the most delicious macrons! We still dream about them!