From Motor Racing to Chateux

Trip Start Jun 05, 2011
Trip End Jul 26, 2011

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Where I stayed
Le Chateaux Rideau

Flag of France  , Pays de la Loire,
Monday, June 13, 2011

We woke early hoping the rain had stopped so we could get to see Mont St-Michel.  It had, so we decided to take off without breakfast to the Mont.  It was 7:30 am when we arrived and no one to take our money for carparking - feel real bad about that!.  Amazingly you can go on to the island without paying anything - there is a lot of souvenir stores and restaurants.  We were able to walk around the streets and photograph the abbey from the outside without a soul around at all - the photographers dream.  We found a cafe to have mushroom omelettes for breakfast and by the time we had finished the Abbey had opened for us to explore.  We got the English headsets so we could find out all the history of this amazing huge abbey that started being built in 10th century. It did not disappoint, fascinating place and worth the drive down to the Normandy coast.

We then drove through a lot of rain and then some dry areas to Le Mans. Lee thinks he is driving on the Le Mans track most of the time!  The road max is 130 and most do 140-150 and he thinks it is great but you pay tolls for the privilege. Here again just missed the crowds as this last weekend was the famous 24 hour race.   Lee wanted to look at the museum, which had many old vintage cars that had raced in the 24 hr Le Mans right up to the modern aerodynamic Audi’s that have been winning it in recent years. An interesting stop.

On to the Loire Valley (a lot to see today as we hadn’t planned to spend so long at St-Michel).  Our first stop was Chateau of Chambord - which is one of the biggest in the area started in 1519.  It’s amazing feature is double helix staircase that takes you from the ground to the top floor.  Lee and I went on a different staircase, so we couldn’t see each other going up or down and our paths did not cross.  

We then travelled down to where we were staying at Azay Le Rideau, passing through some lovely places with churches and chateaus hugging the Loire River, such as Bois and Amboise.  Azay Le Rideau has an interesting little chateau as well, but we were too late to go in - we enjoyed a walk around the town and over the bridge where the beautiful colourful summer flowers were hanging in baskets.  I guess in this area you could get “chateued out” like you can get “cathedral out”!  It is also a lot warmer in this area than where we were at the coast - 26 degrees!  Back to shorts!!

I love looking and exploring the little village towns with the steep cobbled stone streets, stone houses directly on the streets, churches, chateaux and brightly coloured flowers as a whole package!!
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Steven Eager on

Hi Guys, great to see you are having a ball. Maybe there is a future for you both in travel stories - "Lonely Planet" is a good name for such a publication.

Carol B on

LOVE the fabulous photos - there are never too many. Glad you are both having such a great time xo

Sharyn R on

Just loving your photos! Keep 'em coming. Glad you are having a great time!

Tony & Raewyn Morgan on

What a fabulous trip! Really enjoying the opportunity to share the fun vicariously.

Reg and Marj on

After seeing Monet's gardens and all those lovely photos we think France has to go onto our bucket list. Very inspiring to say the least and enjoying them thoroughly.

Darren on

Guys, absolutely loving the trip and all the wonderful photos. Brings back so many great memories. What a huge day. Any one of these sites would have been enough for a full day!

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