Vendome in the rain

October 6th

Das bad weather has got us. We decide to go to Vendome, seems to be a nice city. But when we arrive it rains, rains, rains…

We seek shelter in the huge church. And this one is really nice!


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Walking with the umbrella is no fun!



Chateau Cheverny

October 6th

The sun is out but no warmth! 13 degrees – to cold for biking. We visit Chateau Cheverny instead.


This chateau hasn’t got the lightness of Chateau Chenonceau. The dark tapestries make a depressive atmosphere. Although I have to admit the pictures look quite nice.

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I liked the dining room best.



The painted ceilings are very special.


Across the beautiful garden with its huge trees we reach the orangery, nowadays quite a nice café.







The Belgian comic book creator Hergé used Chateau Cheverny as a model for his fictional “Château de Moulinsart” (Marlinspike Hall in English) in the  “The Adventures of Tintin” books.





Village Festival

October 5th

The sky is blue but the temperature has dropped tremendously because of the rain in the night.

The bike track follows the Loire upstream Vilandry without being disturbed by cars.





Our plan is to stay overnight in Amboise but no way to find a place – and the campsite is already closed for the season.


In Mosnes we find a huge parking, at the moment rather full because something is going on in the village. The festival “fete de St-Coin” is still going on. Neither Domy nor Yves are able to find out what it is all about. People are dressed up and musicians are in the streets. It is 17.30 but the bars are closed. Very difficult to get something to drink!

In the middle of the village a small band plays music and people are dancing – actually a very strange feast!

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Saumur and Turquant

October 4th

The sky in the morning looks beautiful but color in the morning means rain in the evening.


The market in Saumur offers all what you can think of: meat, fruit, veggies, seafood and of course oysters.


Yves knows a nice campsite in Turquant, Above the village some artists live in the tuff caves.



For dinner we enjoy the oysters together with the white wine given as a gift by lady in the vineyard.



Unfortunately our weather forecast from the morning proves right. It gets really chilly and it starts to rain.

Red wine, rosé and barbeque

October 3rd

By midday we are united again. The weather is beautiful, ideal for biking.




In Gennes we come acrossa butcher who sell us a nice piece of meat and gives us a recommendation for a vinery on the way. We try red and rosé and both are superb.

One of each for our dinner – it is so difficult to transport more on the bike. We will come back tomorrow.

Barbeque and wine from the Loire valley…



Chateau d’Angers, a royal fortress

October 2nd

The black-and-white fortress walls made of slate and tuff are distinctive, it is the most powerful fortress a French king ever has built for his lieges. 17 round towers form the outside of the fortress which can be entered via two gates.



All the towers used to have a cone shaped slate roof. During the religious war they all got beheaded and changed into platforms for the artillery. The only one which has still its original height is the “Tour de Moulin” – which today offers a beautiful view across the river to the suburb of Doutre.





From the fortification wall one can see the cathedral above the city.


Inside the Fortess is a separate space for living houses. The chatelet is the entrance gate to the mansion and the chapel.




The Gallery of the Apokalypse: The tapestry cycle of the apocalypse of Angers impresses by its measurements of 103 m length and 4.5m heights. Originally the masterpiece was even more impressive: each of its 6 elements was 6m high and more than 23m long – a total length of 140m. It is the largest tapestry ever woven in Europe. It has been made between 1373 and 1382. During the baroque period nobody cared anymore about this treasure. During the French Revolution the tapestry has been cut to pieces and used as covers or tarpaulin to protect orange trees during winter time. In the middle of the 19. century the bishop of Angers bought some of the fragments back, others have been found after insistent searching. Nevertheless about a third of the original tapestry is lost forever.The building were the tapestry is displayed nowadays has been erected 1953-54 specially for this purpose.



October 2nd

The campsite lies outside of Angers but the 6 km bike track to the center leads along a lake.


The huge fortress built of slate and tuff dominates the city.




The cathedral is also enormous.

The five-storey timber house “Maison d’Adam” falls immediately into view. It is the most beautiful of the 46 timber houses of the inner city.

By the fancy wood figures Adam and Eve are missing, they have been removed because of their explicit nudity.

The 54m high “Tour Saint-Aubin is the clock tower which belonged to the Abbey-St-Aubin. It was also part of the town fortification.



Galerie David d’Angers: The roof of former church of the Augustinian Abbey was replaced by a glas construction in 1984. The old nave became a  modern museum._DSC2459_new

Across the old Verdun Bridge lies the suburban Doutre,


It is also an very old part of the city with many timbered houses.



From Nantes to Angers

October 1

Again a thick layer of fog covers the Loire. But we don’t care and hop in Oudon on our bikes. And sure enough the sun comes out and offers us a beautiful day! The bike track to Ancenis is undisturbed by cars.



In Ancenis we stop for lunch and before biking back we visit the small city. Of course there is a chateau…


As well as some nice houses and an impressive bridge.





Back in Oudon we change once again the river’s side. Champtoceaux lies at an altitude of 70 m (!!!) and offers a great view above the stream landscape.


Yves and Domy visit Yves’ mum in Angers tonight. Tomorrow they will take the train back to Orleans because of an appointment. They will be back the day after.

Les Machines de L’Ile

September 30

Nantes hosts a very peculiar museum. “Les Machines de l’île” is a totally unprecedented artistic project. Born from the François Delarozière and Pierre Orefice’s imagination, it is at crossroads of Jules Verne’s “invented worlds”, of the mechanical universe of Leonardo da Vinci, and of Nantes’ industrial history, on the exceptional site of the former shipyards.


The Grand Elephant: The mechanical elephant is 12 meters high, 8 meters wide and 21m long, made from 45 tons of wood and steel. It can take up to 50 passengers for a 45-minute walk. It looks quite strange to see this huge creature walking around.

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Galerie des Machines: A heron with a 8-metre (26-foot) wingspan, with passengers in tow, flies over the large-scale model of the Tree of Herons planted in the middle of the Galerie. Real plants grow next to mechanical ones, and if you are lucky you might be asked to control the treetop animals.

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The “Tree of Herons will be the next big project – by now it exists only as a model. It will be 30 m high with real plants and mechanical animals.

The Marine World’s Carousel: This giant carousel, almost 25 m (82 ft.) high and 22 m (72 ft.) in diameter, is a reinvention of fairground art. Three carousels are stacked in concrete lacework,
crowned by a Big Top that is itself adorned with pediments, and guarded by 16 fishermen from all the world’s oceans.

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We only saw it from the outside because we didn’t want to queue.