CHEESE EATING SURRENDER MONKEYS...
CHEESE EATING SURRENDER MONKEYS...
DON'T MISS IT A BITOur last few days in France consisted of heading vaguely northward towards Paris. We really didn't know where we were going but The Lonely Planet did right by us again.
A little town called Amboise, outside of Tours mentioned Clos Luce, the house where Leonardo Da Vinci spent the last 3 years of his life under the patronage of Francois 1, who wanted nothing more than just to hang out with Leonardo and tell 'no shit there we were stories' and wouldn't we all.
Apart from that he was free to let his amazing mind be amazing.
We got to the house right on opening so we had the place to ourselves for the most part. The house is beautifully restored and and morning light through the windows made the place very inviting, the same light Da Vinci would have drawn and pondered by. It was cold and frosty and my feet were frozen but the in great Hall they had lit a roaring fire. You get so used to heritage places being protected that the fire surprised me but I welcomed it and finally got feeling back into my feet, and it did add to the atmosphere of the place.
They had many models of his designs, some useful and worked, some fanciful but you could see where he was going with it. The gardens where loverly and had big models which you could play with, turn the Helicopter blades, spin the Tank, made the Water Wheel lift water. It was all very cool, though cool is a feeble word to use.
Rob had been to the Loire Valley as a kid so had a few memories of the area. One place he remembered fairly well was Chateau de Chenonceaux.
Me at right of Chateau de Chenonceaux.
It is built over the River Cher and is very grand. We wandered through the maze, the gardens and the building. I totally recommend traveling in the off season to these places, sure some things aren't open but it totally makes up for it with the lack of other people, and the ability to really look and soak up the atmosphere without hordes of others trying to do the same.
We had a great picnic on the river wall near the Chateau.
Being the classy tourists that we are, we had no cups so had to daintly sip our Vin from the bottle. Tastes better that way, trust me.
Carnac on the South coast of Brittany, which promised Standing Stones Galore, and it didn't disappoint.
There is over 3000 stones in various alignments plus a few in tucked away in secret pockets of woodlands, one of which we stumbled across and had a picnic lunch within.
The next morning we were the first to gain entrance to the Abby. Beautiful and godbothering.
Walking though a great underground bit I got to a totally dark passage way, could faintly see a outline of a archway and slowly moved forward, knowing there was steps in my dark future I moved back and tried to look around to the left and my eye socket met stone in a very ouchy fashion. It hurt to blink for days. When I tried to show Rob the darkness (through my pain) they turned the lights on, and it led to the Crypt.
Either a smoting or lazy light turneronerus.
After the Mont we got on the peage toward Paris. It was ohh soo foggy all the way. All of northern France must have been smothered in grey.
We stopped in Chartres to check out the Cathedral. We parked in the Cathedral parking station, figuring we must be close. It was soo foggy, and we stood around trying to get our bearings when I pointed to a rather large thing looming out of the fog...and lo it was a rather large Gothic Cathedral looming out of the fog. We went that way.
13th C stained glass, fog or no fog is stunning.
We slept in a hotel near a airport. Flew home.
I miss the Pain.
Lots More photos on Flickr...
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