The Gerrard Chronicles 2009 - Traveller's Tales 3

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Monet's Garden & Loire Chateaux

AUGUST 10th - 15th

Another Guardian offer. We went by Eurostar to Paris. Then on by coach to Verdon, where we stayed overnight in the Hotel Normandie. Dull Verdon's saving grace is the cathedral's modern stained glass. The next morning was spent in Monet's Garden, where light rain soon stopped & which lived up to expectations.

Verdon glass

More Verdon glass

Avis in the hotel garden

Avis outside Monet's House

Then, to Chartres for a look round before the long coach ride to Tours, our base for three nights in the badly laid-out Mercure Hotel, which we grumbled about to Newmarket Holidays (who are generally ok) when we got home.

Chartres Cathedral
much painted by Monet

Old glass in
the Cathedral

View behind the Cathedral

In Chartes Old Town

The schedule was very severe. Next morning, we went to Villandry, a chateau with famous gardens.

Villandry Chateau from the gardens

Inside Villandry Chateau

Villandry Chateau gardens & village

Then, on to Chinon, home town of Rabelais & very keen on Joan of Arc.

More Chateau Villandry gardens


Chinon Chateau

Typical brickwork

Despite the schedule, we found time to look round Tours that evening.

Tours grand Town Hall

In Tours Old Town

The dangerous River Loire

Day 3: to Leonardo da Vinci's lovely little Chateau Du Clos Luce in Amboise in the morning. In the grounds IBM had constructed some of his inventions. Amboise itself was worth a look.

Leonardo's Chateau du Clos Luce

Leonardo's Double deck Bridge

Leonardo's aeroplane


Amboise Castle has massive walls...

...but some people live in caves

Loire & flood plain at Amboise

Lunch & off to the grandest Loire chateau - Chenonceau, which straddles the River Cher. In the evening, we went with two nice ladies to a posh restaurant, Le Chope for Avis' 74th birthday feast.

Chateau Chenonceau from the drive

Of the chateau, in the chateau

Much grandeur

On the river

For our last full day, we gratefully left Tours & were driven up the river to Blois for a coffee break, which gave us some time to look round, the Church of St Vincent alone being of much interest (top row).

Above: Church of St Vincent - Blois Below: Blois Chateau, the two sides quite different.

Then, on on to Fontainebleu for our biggest chateau. Although we seemed to do a long tour, we only covered a corner of this immense palace. We stayed the night halfway to Paris at the Hotel Mercure at Coudray but this was far better than the Tours one. (So was the one in Rhiems in June).

Fontainebleu front

Fontainebleu round to the right

On the last day, we got to Paris early enough to take a trip on the Bateau Mouches before Eurostarring home.

Paris - Towards the New bridge (Pont Neuf - the oldest)

Paris - Notre Dame

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Contact: Ken Baldry or Avis Saltsman, 17 Gerrard Road, Islington, London N1 8AY +44(0)020 7359 6294 or e-mail him or her
This page's URL: Last revised 1/12/2009
Copyright: Ken Baldry 2009 All rights reserved but print it off if you want to.