Welcome to Tours

Trip Start Apr 01, 2012
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Trip End Oct 01, 2012


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Where I stayed
Camping de la Mignadiere

Flag of France  , Centre,
Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Tours, city of art and history, ancient Gallo-Roman city, then capital of the kingdom of France, Tours enjoys an exceptional place at the centre of the famous Loire valley chateaux, in the heart of the garden of France. Tours is the original home of the French language and is a land of harmony and proportion, graced by two major rivers. Rich with history and a well preserved heritage, Tours is a city of captivating charm. Tours has managed to guard her rich past while still keeping an eye on the future. Today we found it to be a modern, lively and dynamic centre with just a touch of its old self.To quote a sentence out of one of the brochures,  " The celebrated author Balzac claimed Tours to be " laughing,loving, fresh, flowered, perfumed better than all the cities of the world "
We agree.
We caught the bus to what we thought was the centre of the city, at least we were told at reception here that is what we had to do. As soon as we got on the bus the lady driver told us that it would only go as far as the railway station,and that we had to get off and catch another bus. No english on her behalf of course so we did not realy know what to do, but got on the bus anyway . We planned to just wait and see what happens. We arrived at the railway station and noticed that everyone got off, so we did too. As it was  a railway station we thought that we would have to catch a train to the city and proceded to walk to the counter. the bus driver hauled us back out of the railway station and physically took us to the bus stop around the corner. Stay here until 1A or 1B comes along and that will get you into the city. Very nice of her to do this. Being concerned about our welfare she wrote down which bus we had to catch in order to get back home again. Did not have the nerve to tell her that we could always catch a taxi back. She was a lovely person and did her job above and beyond the call of duty. Merci Madam.
We saw her again in the city later on, she tooted us and gave us a big wave. A lovely thing to do.
As soon as we arrived in Tours we went to the tourist information and got a map of the city. Decided to do our own walking tour, not too difficult as Tours is not a huge city. Lots of landmarks to discover and the best one was the Cathedrale St Gatien. With its twin west towers and Gothic arches and gargoyles it is a showstopper. It is particulary known for its stained glass; the interior dates from the 13th to the 16th centuries and the domed tops of the 70m high towers date from the Renaissance. It was truly a sight to behold and a very enjoyable visit as well.Slowly but surely we made our way to the Vieux Tours, which is the old city. What a pleasant surprise that was,totally different architecture and very pleasant to the eye. By now it was well past lunchtime and stopped to have a meal in the old city. French menu only, did not have a clue what we ordered but when in France eat What the French eat.It was lovely anyway and a good ending to our day.
Tours is having a major renovation project at the moment, the city is building a new tramway system right throughout the city and suburbs. It is a huge project but will improve the congestion 100% once it is finished. Good on them for initiating it.
Time to make the journey back, isn't it funny , our way to the city seemed so complicated and our way back was so simple. Yes I know ,once you know how, everything is easy.
A very interesting day today, tomorrow we will be on our way to Mont St Michel, should be good. So far the weather has been kind to us, hope it keeps up.
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Comments

Ingrid Nichols on

We stayed here for 3 nights in the Old City. Suzi's daughter in-laws parents live here in a cottage near the vineyards. It is magical. We sat in the old square having a drink people watching was amazing!!!!!! Di Vinci was born there & his old family home is now a restaurant we ate there...... I love this place one of my favorites. So glad you visited xoxo

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