Loire Valley – Easter in France (Sat)

April 13 – 18, 2022

Wed ** Thur ** Fri ** Sat ** Sun ** Mon

Saturday
Blois (river walk)

Not surprisingly, Friday night wasn’t any better than Thursday night when it came to the noise level in our room. I checked the clock at the frequent highest volumes: 1:00, 1.30, 2:00, 3:00, 4:30. By then I was just happy to have morning come and get it over with.

Today we would explore along the river. I had read how there are extensive bicycle paths that follow the river for miles up on miles in both directions. It would be great to tour this region via bicycle some day, but for now we’d settle for our feet. We started out going downstream.

This shows the grassy area where we saw the beaver yesterday – and a nice view of the bridge details

The rapids indicate just how shallow the river is

Surprise! The path south didn’t lead very far before we found the end. Apparently the “true” path was on the other side of the river. We ended up back at the castle, drawn by something we had caught a glimpse of yesterday: a dragon sticking out of a window of a building called the “Robert-Houdin House of Magic”. Of course a House of Magic would have dragons. It turned out that there was a display every thirty minutes, so we decided to hang out and see what it was all about.

Castle details while we wait

Waiting for the show

Kind of reminds me of “Sad Keanu”

Behold! The Dragons have arrived!

Short video of the display

Well, wasn’t that interesting? Now let’s go have lunch!

We found a Thai place (Pitaya Thaï Street Food) and had a tasty and quick bite to eat. I can’t say that I cared for the dual-use fork/chopsticks, though.

Now that we had eaten, we went back to the river and headed upstream. It was a much more rewarding direction.

Looking back down the path

It was a quiet walk with the path mostly to ourselves. I enjoyed the birdsong audible in the surrounding forest and watching the scullers on the water. There was a big equestrian center, and then a small cemetery, but other than that, nothing more than trees and views across the water.

We eventually decided to walk away from the water towards a small village on the rise. It continued to be a pleasant walk, following a narrow road through fields and then past some charming little houses.

An old wash house along a tributary stream

The village was nice, but nothing spectacular, and we made our way back down towards the river. We followed a grassy path through the forest, taking a slightly different route back to the equestrian center.

We were back in Blois proper and stopped at L’ottoman for a kabab and burger. I can’t say that I was all that impressed, but it wasn’t bad at all. From there we wandered back into the neighborhood where we had lunch and checked out the market that was going on.

I must say, when I see “Market Day!” in an old city like this, I expect to see stalls with fresh food, local vegetables, flowers, maybe some crafts, but… mattresses? When I saw the mattress selling booth I just shook my head. That just seemed weird and left a sour taste in my mouth.

Not a photo of the mattress seller

Another shot of the city skyline, just because I was really impressed with it

It was the end of our last day in Blois. Tomorrow morning we’d pack up the bikes and start our trip home. I wasn’t looking forward to another bad night’s sleep, but at least I knew that it would be my last one here. But Mother Nature had a parting gift for me – a full moon!

Peek-a-boo!

I stood at the window for a long time, watching the moon slowly rise above the chimney pots. It was enchanting to watch.

One last picture and then it was time to get some sleep – which I did quite well.

Sunday

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