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Next comes the Loire Valley - Valley of Kings

After Paris, you want to see castles . . . lots of them.

Cathedral Notre Dame de Chartres

Cathedral Notre Dame de Chartres


We had leased a Peugeot so on day 4 we drove southwest to the town of Chartres. You must stop and visit the famous and beautiful cathedral in Chartres. It was a lovely sunny day so the stained glass windows were spectacular but I was even more impressed by the sunlight on the ancient stone floors. This started a lifelong love affair with Notre Dame de Chartres and we've returned many times over the years.

Azay-le-Rideau with a cute car

Azay-le-Rideau with a cute car


We left Chartres and drove south to Chateaudun where we stopped for lunch on the town square. It was market day so that was a nice plus. We found a bank and got money from the ATM . . . a first on the trip. Then we visited La Poste and bought postage stamps. At that point I think we really believed we could survive in a foreign country on our own. We found a tiny restaurant behind a fish market (so ate inside) and discovered we couldn't read the menu. Croque Monsieur sounded like something I'd heard on a language tape I'd studied so we ordered it. Loved it! We've gotten much better at menus over the years.

Château Azay-le-Rideau

Château Azay-le-Rideau


After lunch and feeling much better about our survival skills, we continued south to near Poitiers. Here we encountered our first French campground. It was near Futuroscope but we took our 3 days and visited Loire chateaus, abbeys and quaint villages. It was heavenly and the staff at the campground were wonderful.

Château Chenonceau

Château Chenonceau


We have returned often to a couple favorite chateaus, Azay-le-Rideau and Villandry. Chenonceau, the chateau of women, is also a must-see.

Posted by Beausoleil 15:34 Archived in France

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