for the 12:25pm TGV to Tours/Sainte Pierre des Corps. NOTE: G7 starts the meter as soon as they leave their station! Boarding the train was easy once we realized we had to locate the correct car according to our ticket.
The trip itself was fast and easy with one stop in Orleans en route. We sat in the 2nd class car, which was absolutely fine for the one-hour ride.
Once we arrived in Tours,
we had to find our rental car
which was a bit tricky since it was Sunday and the rental car offices were all closed! Matthew finally found the right person in the hotel adjacent to the station and got the keys to the car. Alas, it was a VW Golf instead of the Jetta we had reserved online. We decided to go ahead and take the car and try to switch it tomorrow (with help from our hotel concierge, who will hopefully speak English!).
We followed our driving directions to Chateau Noizay with very few errors. The Chateau is just as beautiful as it looks online - whew! Our room wasn't quite ready when we arrived, so we left our luggage and drove about 10 minutes to Amboise to eat lunch and to see the castle there. We ate at a small cafe
- Matthew and I had moules frites
, and Emma had a tomato and mozzarella salad - both were delicious. We then walked up to Chateau Amboise and toured the grounds and castle interior. The views of the Loire River and the town of Amboise were magnificent!
Afterward, we walked through the town to Clos du Luce, Leonardo da Vinci's home, and toured the house and gardens. There were models and explanations of about 40 of his inventions - very cool to see! The gardens were also very beautiful.
We bought a few gifts in the souvenir shop in town then headed back to Chateau Noizay for a swim (Matthew & Emma) and a rest (me), showers, then dinner.
Dinner at our Chateau was phenomenal! We started with champagne and Kir Royales. Emma's starter was fresh goat cheese with herbs. She and I both had the filet and Matthew had the veal for a main course. The cheese cart was incredible - lots of local cheeses to choose from. Our desserts were beautifully presented, too. We drank an excellent local red wine with dinner then had a pear digestif while sitting in the garden after our meal. Afterward, we walked upstairs to bed - perfect! Although there was no AC in the chateau, there was a wonderful breeze that kept us relatively cool all night.
Taxis G7 picked us up at our apartment at 11:30am to drive us (and our ton of luggage!) to Gare Montparnasse