Today we discovered that Tuesday is the day of rest for museums in Tours; we had no joy at the Musee de Vin, the Musee Marie de l’Incarnation, and the Musee du Compagnonnage. So, we gave up on getting cultured and headed to the garden for our picnic,
and then to our favourite patisserie. Wonderful. Heading back, we stumbled onto a new street and found the Jardin des Vikings and a piece of the remains of the city wall from the 3rd century, which the Vikings
breached in the 9th century, but did not make it all the way through to sack the city(that time). It was a miracle. History around every corner; sure glad they have added English to the info plaques! We decided to get the laundry done today and try the museums again Thursday, so back to the hotel we went, enjoying every step along the path by the beautiful Loire River.
We were up with the sun today, (not until 7 these days), so we could hop the train to Amboise to see our first Loire valley chateau and go to the Leonardo da Vinci Museum.
It includes his home at Chateau du Clos Luce and the attached Parc,
which is a great walkabout with 33 points of interest re his inventions, his paintings, and his thoughts about nature and science.
It was 32C this afternoon, but the Parc was shady with a nice breeze: great for a picnic. When we got the tickets, we were told it was “not far at all” from the station to the museum; in fact it is 3 km, a good hike across the river and up the hill, in the heat of 3 pm.
I knew I did not want to go out to eat late, so we picked up Chinese food takeout, a few cold beers, a baguette for tomorrow, and headed back for a cool shower and a quiet night in.
The same lovely little lady who gave me a fan when it turned out google was wrong about the air conditioning, gave me a big bottle of frozen water (of her own) when she had to tell me there was no ice machine either. Kindness much appreciated.
Another beautiful day in Tours started with a walk through the Botanical Gardens, then, heading to the station to get tomorrow’s tickets, we found another garden and had our lunch picnic there.
Ticket mission accomplished, we took in a free tour of the Hotel de Ville(city hall) and the Hotel de Grand
Commandment(an army venue). We finally managed to find Place Plumereau, the heart of the old city, and so we ended the fun part of the day with a beer and another tasty meal. I have been fighting with the wifi since; time to give up, make my lunch for tomorrow, and hit the hay.
Even though we set a leisurely, even snail-like pace, not even starting out until noon, we managed to enjoy a walk along the Loire, a picnic lunch in a pretty garden, our first patisserie stop,(yes, we went back to the cake picture place!) and four free cultural heritage venues: Les Bateaux Historique,
La Musee de Beaux Arts, La Psalette Cloisters, and the Chateau de Tours. The boat demonstration was about river transportation in the 18th century. The museum showed paintings, funiture and objects of art along with demonstrations of restoration.
The cloisters were built in the 1400s to house a library, scriptorium, (and a gaggle of gargoyles); the building was in use up to the revolution when much of it was destroyed.
The castle is now used as an art gallery for young French artists; today we saw 3 separate shows.
By 6 we were “free- stuffed” out! It is pretty hard to find supper here before 7; the doors are all closed; but luckily, we stumbled upon a young Cambodian restaurenteur who made us some wonderful food. Blog and bed early tonight. One last pic from the walk back.
Built between the 12th and 16th centuries, the Cathedral is a gothic masterpiece. I had heard the term “flying buttresses” before, but until yesterday, I had never seen any.
We walked all the way around the outside,
noting the gargoyles that guard every aspect! The stained glass windows, carvings, and paintings inside were jaw-dropping;
I enjoyed every minute in this space. We took a late afternoon break and came back for supper and the light show at 10 pm.
Well worth it!
It was a no goal, no destination day: just wander toward the core of the old city and take it all in.
But when we came across the sign for the Tourism Office, we directed our feet to the information side of the street, stopping to admire this display of beautiful cakes en route.
The little lady there was a big help; we got cheaper tickets to both venues we wanted, directions for transportation to and from, as well as local bus routes and times.
Our lucky? streak continued as she told us this weekend is “Journees Europeeannes Du Patrimoine,” so many special places in Tours are both free and guided this weekend.
Could be busy! This is an early blog as we head back out for supper and the second last light show at the Cathedral of this year.
Although it was overcast, it was a nice morning for a last walkabout around the neighborhood of Clichy Centre Ville. We had lunch in our favourite cafe, which today gave Bill a chance to continue his tradition of making adventurous vacation food choices.
Hint: it is not crocodile, or snake or rat. Although we had plenty of time… just in case…..we headed out to the train station pretty early,
everything went smoothly, and Bill loved the speed! We arrived in Tours on time and in time for a walk along the Loire and through some of the oldest streets
of the city before supper. Luckily, we happened on a wonderful little cafe, the rain held off, and we made it back to our new digs where iffy wiffy is making blog and bed a little later.