Friday, September 9, 2016
09.09.2016 - 10.09.2016
No early breakfast at a B&B so we went over to the house at 8:30 for our morning repast. We took the computer up to the conservatory and logged onto their Internet and took care of our needs then set our GPS for Amboise. Finally contacted our next gite with our arrival time. We soon arrived in Amboise and quickly found parking. It was a market day so parking was a challenge but Ed is a master of finding places. We started for the Old Town area and quickly spotted Église Saint-Denis [9 Rue Saint-Denis, 37400 Amboise; tel: +33 (0)2 4757-6675] perched above us so we hiked up the hill to explore. It was open and lovely. As we exited, we spotted the Château d'Amboise and its magnificent Cedar of Lebanon on the hill opposite the church. What a wonderful view. Château d'Amboise web site
We wandered through the Old Town and when we got to the Château, we started looking for a restaurant. Ed only wanted a sandwich and the restaurants wanted to serve meals so we didn’t have much luck. We ran out of downtown and started back and finally found a bar that served Croque Monsieurs. I could get a quiche so we entered. I guess Ed's sandwich was okay but all I could say for the quiche is that it was edible so I ate about half of it. We did get ice cream with it although not the flavors we actually ordered. Odd place . . . I guess there are enough tourists wanting a quick lunch that they don't go out of business. Since we're eating out again tonight, we really couldn't eat a full lunch today. This is one of the reasons we prefer renting gites to staying in B&Bs. We usually eat dinner at noon and either skip supper or have a very light picnic of bread, cheese and wine. Ed did manage to keep me out of Bigot, my favorite chocolate shop in Amboise . . .
It was getting late and we’ve been through the very interesting Château a couple of times so we decided to go on to Chaumont to the Garden Festival. They have a different theme for the festival each year so you can go every year and see something new. No problem finding Chaumont or parking for the Festival. We paid and entered and started through the thirty-five gardens. The 2016 theme was “Gardens from the Century to Come” and it didn’t seem very inspirational to most of the gardeners. It was interesting but not nearly as colorful nor as much fun as 2006. It was also very hot this year so before we crossed the bridge to the permanent gardens, we stopped for water and ice cream. By the time we completed garden number thirty-five, I was completely wilted. Château de Chaumont Garden Festival
We drove back to our B&B to cool off a little and Ed called Hotel Bellevue for dinner reservations. We drove down to Montrichard and blessedly, he left me at the hotel door while he went in search of parking. We got “our table” by the window and started with a kir which brought on an amuse bouche. Then our waiter brought a small soup and became thoroughly confused trying to tell us what it was. I knew he said “potiron” but couldn’t remember what that was and he kept making a large circle with his hands and finally said, “Hallowe’en” and we realized it was pumpkin soup. We all learned a new word! We also discovered the head waitress speaks English when we heard her talking to a British couple a few tables away. She never did speak English to us and when we asked, told us it made her uncomfortable. I completely understand. We got the coq au vin and it was excellent, very dark and rich. It was a very good and fun meal. We got an extra amuse bouche with my coffee and neither of us could possibly eat it . . . stuffed!
I had leg cramps from all the walking and sweating today despite drinking as much water as I could find. We must have spent six hours walking today . . . very tired but in a good way. Tomorrow starts our western Loire adventure. Next week we have an entire château to ourselves albeit a small château .