The gite across from our B and B room. We stayed there the last time.
So quiet here. We slept like logs, didn’t even hear the alarm this morning. Fortunately, my phone alarm went off at 7:30 so we didn’t miss breakfast. We ate with a French couple and a French mother-daughter so conversation was limited but the daughter spoke a bit of English to go with our bit of French. They were from Grenoble and visiting Cheverny and Villandry while here. We love the Beaux Arts Museum in Grenoble, and we've visited both Villandry and Cheverny multiple times so had a lot to discuss. We also told them about the Garden Festival at Chaumont. My French can get me that far.
Our wifi wasn’t working last night so I tried again this morning and had no luck. Poor Philip is dealing with a broken wifi router and a running toilet but we’re having a grand time. I got all my photos on the computer and backed up, and can’t e-mail anyone which is actually kind of relaxing. I did text the kids on my phone that we arrived safely. Virtual Tourist will undoubtedly survive without me for a day. An electronic break can be a good thing. Philip and Rebecca have given us maps of Montrichard and Tours. The train leaves at 11:37 and Ed is using the house Internet right now. Basil is helping us. He’s such a cute little dog. His very curly blonde coat glows.
Gare de Tours, the downtown train station
We had no trouble getting train tickets to Tours. I found the ticket agent behind the station and he cheerfully gave us a senior discount without asking. The train arrived punctually and we had a choice of seats. Fifty minutes later we were in Tours looking for a restaurant. We found L’Annexe across from the Hotel de Ville and both of us got confit de canard and skipped dessert because we have to eat out again tonight. The food was fine and the service equally good. It’s a busy, fun square right across from the city hall so lots of great people watching. Rebecca had suggested we look here and it was a great idea. [L’Annexe de L’Aubrac, 9 Place Jean Jaurès, 37000 Tours; +33 (0)2 4720-6212]
L'Annexe de l'Aubrac Restaurant in Tours
Hotel de Ville (City Hall) in Tours
Armed with Rebecca’s map, we walked to the Cathedral. I wasn’t really expecting much so we were delightfully surprised to find a magnificent cathedral that has been beautifully restored, and the modern touches are done with exquisite taste, especially the stained glass. It was a real thrill. The contemporary stained glass is by artist Gerard Collin-Thiebaut in close cooperation with the master glazier Pierre-Alain Parot. We also explored the attached cloister and there are some very nice views from the second story. There was also an interesting art exhibit on the upper floor of the Cloister. There is a very interesting film and information on the Cathedral if you speak French. http://www.paroisse-cathedrale-tours.catholique.fr/patrimoine-visitez-la-cathedrale/cathedrale-saint-gatien
Modern Stained Glass in St. Gatien
Three interior photos of Cathedral St. Gatien
We walked next door to the Beaux Arts Museum and were stopped in our tracks by a 180-year-old Cedar of Lebanon in the courtyard . . . a very imposing tree. We entered the Beaux Arts and paid and spent a few hours viewing a less-than-impressive collection. There was one Monet, badly lighted, one Corot and a Rubens. Their only Rembrandt was out on loan in Paris. A disappointing museum. There is a national museum downtown that we didn’t see. Wonder what it’s like? Next trip . . .
Carvings on Le Commerce Restaurant in Tours
Left the museum for the long hike to Place Plumereau and arrived eventually. It was packed and interesting but after taking pictures, there was nothing to hold us so we walked on and found St. Martin’s Basilique and went in. There is an amazing dome; however, a service was about to start so we left and walked in the direction of the train station. Arrived a bit early so stopped at a brasserie and had a much-needed limonade while we waited. A group taking a horse and carriage tour passed us. That looked like great fun. I got photos. Sixish we walked to the station and found our platform. Again, the train was on time and fifty minutes later we were back in Montrichard where we collected our car and set off to find parking for dinner. Carol Lynn had recommended La Villa so we decided to try that tonight.
Dome in the Basilique of St. Martin
Les Tuffeaux Restaurant in Montrichard
No problem with parking; however, La Villa was closed on a Thursday evening for no reason we could tell. Les Tuffeaux was right there so we decided to eat there and not order the steak which had been very tough on our last trip. Good idea. We had the pork with roasted vegetables and it was excellent as was the house red wine. Had rice pudding for dessert to end a very nice meal. Our record so far is two good meals and one tough steak. We'll probably return; it seems to be improving. In all honesty, Peg got a wonderful steak there on one trip. [3 Rue Daymard on Place Barthelemy Gilbert, 41400 MONTRICHARD; tel: +33 (0)9 7035-5740 or +33(0)2 5432-6813; http://www.restaurant-montrichard.com/]
Picnic on the river Cher at Montrichard
Arrived back at the B&B to find the toilet no longer running, but still no Internet. Too tired to go up to the house so we’ll do it tomorrow. I transferred photos and it’s time to sleep! All the walking is helping a lot with jet lag. We should be fine by tomorrow.