We spent only one night in La Mans and then saw the cathedral and Saumur before heading to Chenonceau.
The photos below are what we saw.
chateau at Saumur overlooks the Loire River. The fertile
river valley has been a contested location since before the
middle ages. Saumur was constructed to defend against
chateau was purchased by the city in the late 1800s and has been
the subject of near constant restoration efforts since then. Some of
the areas are in very poor condition; poor enough to prevent
access until efforts are complete.
Kathleen check out the drawbridge.
of Saumur created this flower garden in the shape of the city
chateau had a corny setup for taking photos. I think I
look good with double goatees.
portions of the upper reaches of the chateau were restored, but
not accessible to the public.
upper deck at the chateau provided a dramatic view of the Loire
mechanism is used to hoist water from the well deep below the
ground floor of the chateau.
portions of the walls have been restored, reproducing the
intricate details of the original stone carvings.
section of the wall was restored as well.
portion, however, is not restored and is in danger of
failing. Note the steel and wood braces.
portion of the chateau needs work, particularly at the base and
on the outer ramparts.
most of these places, we had to exit through the gift
shop. But, I spotted an interesting poster that made it
worth while. It would likely be more interesting if I read
chateau staff put on a horsemanship show while we were
there. Having owned these dimwitted creatures in my past,
it was amusing.
no idea how they train a horse to sit like this.
the staff put on a riding skills demonstration and skewered a
ring from the hand of a helper at full gallop using a lance.
second pass the rider demonstrated the ability to split an apple
using a sword at full gallop wearing a helmet. Rather
Saumur, we headed to the
distillery that made
the first Orange
liqueur as well as
absinthe and other liqueurs. Sadly for Combier, there were
no copyright or patent laws back then and his idea was stolen by
Contreau. But, the Combier prevailed based on the strength of his
products. The tour took us through the
the equipment dates back to the late 1800s and it made out of
fixtures were made out of hand crafted steel beams that were
part of this view is not just seeing it go away but recognizing
the irony of the name on her bag.
distillery we went to the Cave Louis de Grenelle sparkling wine factory.
They grow their own grapes and the grapes are shipped to the
bottling plant and storage areas. The aging is done in a
2.5 km tunnel far underground to maintain constant
temperature. The tour takes you underground and above the
guide is explaining their process.
tunnels were carved using slave labor in the 1500s. The
tunnels doubled as a quarry to provide material for Chateau
Saumur. The process of making sparkling wine requires
crushing large amount of grapes and the wheel above was part of
facility has over 4
MILLION bottles of sparkling wine in the tunnels waiting for the
this in perspective, there were 2.5 kilometers of bottles
stacked on the walls.
rough translation of the carving is "come when you want, leave
if you can" referring to the habit of getting drunk in the
the old equipment from the 1800s was on display in the tunnels.
The stone seat made a good place to take a photo.
I had a French fellow stumble upon my website and
emailed me the correct translation for this passage. Per his email:
"Good wine is
without it is sufferance". Given the
capitalization of the French word "sousFrance" it is intended as a pun.
Thanks to Mr. Balez for the translation.
abandoned country farm house surrounded by sunflowers outside of
came into Chenonceau a flotilla of hot air balloons were coming
back to earth.
chose our hotels and she did a first rate job on this one.
A quaint room in a 4-star hotel with an awesome restaurant.
Unlike the other rooms we had so far, this one had a sitting room in addition to the bedroom. And a patio.
bathrooms were very nice and spacious in contrast to the normal
second night in Chenonceau we had wine on the patio.
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2013,
all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.