After Tours, back to Amboise where we were sleeping, I had an idea:
How about avoid the motor way, and try the national road? By national road I mean the old one, that connects all the small towns on the way back “home” (Gien). Cool!
But Ups! I’d no map, no GPS, no phone with internet. Ah! and it was my first time driving around France.
Did I give up? Ahah, nooo. That night on a computer I checked the map, wrote the name of the main towns (which means, those which appear bigger on the google maps), and the name of the roads (like D952), and we made a plan:
Follow our instinct and stop wherever we felt “this is a good place”!
Yes, we got a bit lost twice, but you know, any road can take you to Rome.
On our way we saw a lot of small beautiful places, but there was no time to stop in every single one of them, so we were just passing slow in a few of them. In the end, there was two places that need to be mentioned: Blois and Chambord.
But before that, just a photo of one of those places we saw through the car window: Chaumont Sur Loire
Once there, I read it had been the capital of France before Paris. But I can’t confirm that information on the internet now, just that the kings had their residence there. What I can tell you is that Blois is full of history, the Bretons were there, vikings came to fight for the city, catholics banished the jews, Joanna D’Arc made it her base to fight to release Orléans, … and it goes on.
And again, we’re in the land of churches and cathedrals, so once there you can’t run away from Cathedral Saint Louis:
Church Saint Nicolas – here I found a deep silence, not that easy to deal with, but after a while it can be a good place to recharge the batteries!
And the Castle of Blois:
The city is big and full of busy people walking around, but if you can focus on the details, there’s where this city wins: as an example, and an old door kept in the new building, the outside stairs of the castle, and the view. Blois is also the city where Zaz, was born. Here you can listen to her songs.
After Blois, we went to Chambord (here you can check the prices). Chambord is the Perfect Princess Castle. But you can only go in if you arrive before 4pm, so be careful with that, or the fantasy just falls off. That happened to us, sadly, but the outside part is amazing. It’s one of the most famous castles in the world, because of its renaissance architecture. It’s a symbol of power and wealth, and it was built just as a “park” for the king to practice hunt game.
It still makes me dream:
After Chambord, we went to Orléans and then Gien. But Orléans deserves a whole new post.
Feel free to share your experiences with us, or ask for more info.
The last thing, I need to thank Zoe for the great trip we had: