Posted by: lindsaygoes | April 27, 2011

Paris, Tours and Bordeaux. Aren’t I lucky?

Carousel, Montmartre

I’m currently in France and the weather is spectacular. I arrived in Paris on Saturday, along with a number of other people enjoying the Easter long weekend. Once I arrived, as usual I left the station fro, the wrong exit, but managed to find my hotel pretty easily, with a fascinating glimpse of some legal graffiti artist on the way. Once I met everyone else on my tour I discovered that I was the only person travelling by themselves, which means I get a single room to myself – Bonus! The next day it was a bit of a free morning so after a longer trip on the metro than was necessary (and far more changes than were necessary too) I went to some flea markets and then walked to Sacré Couer which had a great atmosphere on Easter Sunday. Had someone try and scam me into getting a ‘traditional’ bracelet made on my wrist (they would have tried to charge me for it five seconds later), but I was wise to that one. I’m sure it won’t be long before I get tricked into parting with some money for one reason or another though. After my brief morning exploring Paris I met back up with the group and we caught a couple more metro trains and then the train to Tours. That evening we had a walk around Tours, which is a lovely town. We saw the cathedral and had dinner in the old town.

The next day was a 40 kilometer bike ride to the Chàteux of Villandry, well actually it wasn’t because I had a nasty cold and didn’t want to do something that strenuous so I joined a couple of others in skipping all that work. We started off going to the tourist office, which opened at 10am, but it turned out that the tours going to Villandry all left at 9:30am, so our only option was to wander around Tours a bit more and do an afternoon tour. It ended up being a really lovely option, it was nice having a relaxing ,orning and then we went to Chenonceau, a fabulous fairytale Chàteau, with beautiful gardens (one for the queen and one for the mistress). Then we headed to Chàteau du Clos Lucé, where Leonardo da Vinci spent his final years. The attatched park was amazing, they had life sized models of many of his adventures and enormous banners with his artworks, a surprise around every corner. Our final stop was Amboise, a more defensive Chàteau perched on the top of a hill. We had many stairs and ramps to climb to get to the top, and yet again there were amazing gardens at the top. They also had enormous spiralling ramps filled with foils of grotesque demons, which were used for horses to come up.

The following day we had another lazy morning and then headed to Bordeaux. We started off with a walk around the town, visiting a few churches and an antiques market (where I bought some artwork – at €1 a piece) and then it was dinner.

This morning we headed to a winery on the outskirts of Bordeaux, which was a lovely spot, although something tells me I kind of missed the point. As I’ve currently lost my voice I more observed proceedings than anything. From Bordeaux there was a train and a bus to Sarlat in the Dordogne region, which is where I am now.

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