We spent one night in the Loire Valley, and I really wanted to spend it in a chateau. There are lots of them in the area and many have been turned into bed and breakfast-type lodgings. I was trying to choose one to book one Saturday morning when my 9-year-old niece was over. She helped me choose the Chateau de Vallagon because, as she said, “It’s so pretty!” and “Oh, I would love to stay there!” That was good enough for me! As usual, Claire has excellent taste. The Chateau de Vallagon ended up being exactly what I expected.
The owners were incredibly hospitable, too. In fact, I felt a little bad because I don’t think we were necessarily their ideal customers. It seems like they probably cater to couples on a romantic weekend, not two friends traveling through France. It’s a very self-sustaining place with their own dining room, and they had refreshments available to purchase. Cristen and I thought about staying there for dinner when we first arrived, but there was only one option for a vegetarian and Cristen wasn’t feeling it. That’s when we went to the pizza place in Montrichard. We wanted to get an early start in the morning, so we were up to leave just as they were preparing breakfast. I had to peek in the kitchen to get the attention of the owner so we could pay our bill and return our key. She was quite busy getting breakfast ready, and for a second there, it seemed kind of wonderful to run a chateau in the French countryside.
I wish that we could have lingered around the chateau for a while and explored some of the walks through the forests. The grounds were so pretty.
We decided to pick up breakfast in Amboise because we had heard it was a beautiful town. We drove through Montrichard on the way there, and I was so happy to see the cheerful bunting in the daytime.
Amboise was charming and beautiful. I regretted that we didn’t have more time there (have you noticed that I say that about pretty much every place we visited? It just wasn’t long enough!). We basically just parked the car and walked around until we found some place to eat.
It was still a little too early for many of the shops to be open, but we found a patisserie. Oh, I miss having a pastry every morning for breakfast! I attempted to try something new each time, and they were always delicious. I ordered some hot chocolate with my pastry. I burned my tongue on the first sip, but when it cooled down sufficiently (I prefer it lukewarm), it was rich and delicious. Mmm….
Our major stop for the day was the Chateau de Chenonceau. We kept passing fields after fields of dead sunflowers.
Wouldn’t you just love to see them in their prime? But you know, I rather liked them all withered and dark, too.
I was planning to combine this with photos from Chenonceau, but as I gathered them all together, there were just too many for one post. I can’t wait to share them with you tomorrow, though. Chenonceau was one of my favorite places of the whole trip.