Thursday, September 15, 2016
15.09.2016 - 16.09.2016
Up at 7:30, showered and ate breakfast then began a very frustrating and unsuccessful attempt to contact our next hostess. She has no e-mail that I can find and she doesn’t speak English. My French is shaky enough I hate telephones. Well, I hate telephones anyway, but particularly in a foreign language. I couldn’t find a contact and gave up because the connection was so slow. The internet here is wifi but as slow as the old telephone modems used to be. We left. I’ll deal with it later.
Drove to Saumur but had missed the 11:00 AM tourist train so drove up to the Château in the rain. Garmin found the Château parking. We parked, paid and entered with a twenty-minute wait in the rain for our obligatory castle tour in English. I took pictures from under my umbrella and hope they are okay if not particularly cheery.
Our guide appeared and did most of the tour, i.e. her speech, inside because of the rain. She then turned us loose to wander the Château on our own. We started and then decided lunch might be a good idea so walked down to the Orangerie of the castle for lunch. The daily special didn’t look very special so I ordered souris d’agneau and Ed got magret de canard. They came with tomatoes Provençal, pureed peas and a hot vegetable paté with a lot of curry . . . odd combination for the rest of the meal but it was tasty. The lamb and duck were both excellent. We both got a very creamy crème brûlée for dessert and were delighted to have found the Orangerie. [The Orangerie, Caserne Feuquières, Cours du Château, 49400 Saumur, France; tel: +33 (0)2 4167-1288; fax: +33 (0)2 4167-7460; Orangerie Restaurant web site]
While we were eating, the rain stopped and the sun came out so we walked around a little taking sunny pictures before returning to the Château. We climbed up and down stairs and wandered through rooms. Displays were mostly tapestries and china with only one floor of exhibits. Nice, but the views were the highlight. [Château de Saumur, Loire-Anjou-Touraine Natural Regional Park, 49400 Saumur, France; tel: +33 (0)2 4140-2440; Château de Saumur web site]
Retrieved the car and drove to Centre Ville and found Place Bilange so we parked along the river and walked back stopping at the Tourist Office for a map. Walked around Old Town until time for the little train. There were some very oddly-dressed teens meeting in the square. You couldn’t help but notice grass skirts, pink hair, bunny ears, crowns, etc. The train arrived and the last car was narrated in English so we sat there . . . by ourselves. The train chugged all over town with commentary and the only jarring note was the narrator kept saying Calvary when she meant cavalry . . . big difference! Since there is a cavalry school in the town, this came up quite often in the narration. I chuckled every time.
After the train tour we went to Carrefour Market to get two things Carol Lynn wanted and they didn’t have them so we bought bread and cereal before driving home. We ate outside but it looks like more rain coming. I finally broke down and telephoned our next hostess who wasn’t home so I think I left a message. With this cell phone I am never sure what I’m doing.