Monday, September 12, 2016
12.09.2015 - 13.09.2015
Up at 7:30 and breakfasted. Then on a search for more towels I found the wifi router inside an upstairs cabinet and unplugged and replugged it. That may solve our problems. No more towels but the house wifi was now recognized and telling me the 26-digit password is wrong. At that moment there was a knock on the door so I answered it and it was our host and hostess. I had written out in readable print what I was seeing for their password and asked them to compare to their written instructions and see what I was doing wrong. After much consultation, they determined the 26th digit was the number one, not the A I had seen and typed. It sure looked like an A. I retyped the 26-letter password for the hundredth time with the number 1 at the end and it worked. Hooray! I cleared out my mailbox, checked e-mails and noted photos from Angie, and Happy Grandparents’ Day wishes from Hunter and Piper. Checked cat sitter notes and pics of Mimi and noted I dropped from two to three on the Virtual Tourist Forum ratings, possibly because I've pretty much been offline for the last week. Oh well . . . That done, our hosts appeared with more towels and a suitable bread knife. I think we’re set.
We headed out to Château du Plessis-Bourré, a Cinderella castle surrounded by a moat. We were a bit early so walked through the medieval gardens and then around the castle admiring views across the moat. At the appointed time, we took the obligatory tour in French; however, there was an British couple too so the guide did some translating and we had a booklet in English. The guide was excellent and the castle very interesting although we weren't allowed to take photos inside. Château du Plessis-Bourré web site
We asked our guide for a restaurant recommendation and after batting zero with the suggestion of a golf club restaurant with hamburgers, her cashier companion suggested Auberge au Relais du Plessis-Bourré in nearby Soulaire-et-Bourg. Great choice! We had a wonderful meal there. We both ordered a hot goat cheese salad, the merlu and vegetables which turned out to be potatoes and a marvelous sliced artichoke with thinly sliced tomato between the artichoke slices . . . colorful and delicious. The fish sauce was very finely chopped shallots, mushrooms and tomatoes cooked in white wine and with a bit of cream added. Superb! We got a local Saumur rosé to accompany it. For dessert Ed got a crème brûlée with apricots cooked into it and I got the chocolate mousse. Wonderful meal nicely served in a very homelike setting. [Auberge au Relais du Plessis-Bourré, 7 route d’Angers 49460 Soulaire-et-Bourg; tel: +33 (0)2 4132-0607; Auberge au Relais du Plessis-Bourré web site]
After lunch we followed signs to Château de Montriou, to discover it closed on Mondays. Ed drove down and parked so I could take outside photos and then we decided to race for Château du Lude. We had no address so set the Peugeot GPS for Le Lude and headed off. Nearly there, I discovered the château listed on the Garmin GPS so we switched to that and drove right to the château just as a car was pulling out of the last parking place which we quickly grabbed. Château de Montriou web site
We tore inside and bought our tickets just as a tour was leaving. This was also a French tour but we had an English brochure to follow. This is a privately owned home so no photos inside here either. The guide was good and the castle interesting but parts were very shabby, especially the first rooms with upholstery stripped down to bare wood on a couple arm chairs. Otherwise it was nicely kept and well done. According to the guide, this is the northernmost Loire Château. Its origins go back to the tenth century and in 1427 it was beseiged by Bluebeard. How is that for history? At this point it is more Italian Renaissance than medieval. We enjoyed the gardens along the Loir river afterwards. (Yes, the river Loir, not Loire. Two different rivers.) Château du Lude web site
Our GPS took us home on the AutoRoute so it was an easy trip and we stopped at the local boulangerie for a demi-baguette and two chocolate Religeaux. Good day!