Posted by: kdeversblog | October 12, 2017

Amboise: A lovely home base in the Loire

After the sparkling city life and abundant art in Paris, we were on our way to the Loire Valley. The Loire River, running east/west in the middle of the country, separates northern and southern France and is bursting with thousands of castles and palaces. They were built mostly in the sixteenth century to replace the outdated medieval castles. To help with upkeep and maintain ownership, the chateaus are open for visitors and the owners receive government compensation.

Aside from the amazing variation of chateaus, the Loire Valley is green and lush, blanketed in fertile fields and fed with abundant, clear running rivers and streams. It’s an important agricultural area for France. We saw the gorgeous produce in the Amboise market and tasted it in the restaurants.

The rain caught up with us when we arrived in Amboise, our home base in the Loire. With the help of a phone call with our host, we found our Airbnb apartment and settled in. John graciously let me have the bedroom with a very comfy queen bed while he took the fold out sofa. This was not a comfy bed, but he managed to get to sleep and get rested for his pastry run in the morning.

Our host designed the apartment and we appreciated her attention to detail and the fun artwork that was an integral part of the decor. John bought a yellow calla lily plant that matched the color scheme perfectly. The lovely plant traveled with us until it found a good home in Provence.

The bathroom was quite large with a rain shower and heated pipes for drying clothes. The apartment was well stocked with dishes and cooking utensils. It even had a dishwasher (that we didn’t use) and a clothes washer and dryer.

Amboise is a lovely town with lots of restaurants and shops. It was fun to sit outside and enjoy the fresh air or choose a cozy setting inside for our meals. Night time lights made it nice for an evening stroll or a last minute run to the grocery store.

On our last day, we decided to wash a couple of loads of laundry. This necessitated several phone conversations with our host but finally John was able to decipher the instructions. Since there wasn’t enough time to get everything dry, and many of my items needed to air dry, I used the heated pipes and the radiators. They worked great and everything was ready to be packed in the morning. Apparently the heated pipes are common in France and I’d love to have them in my house. Hmmmm, a future project!?

There are lots of bakeries and charcuteries in Amboise and we had our favorites. Each morning John would get pastries for our breakfast and a fresh baguette for lunch sandwiches. He made scrambled eggs to accompany the pastry and I prepared our traveling picnic. I cut the baguette into four chunks then sliced them down the middle, without separating the halves. Cheese and ham or chicken would be put in them later. I liked to have some olives and an apple as well. John liked custards of various kinds. He had his Coke Zero and I drank water. It was always easy to find a picnic table in a lovely setting for our picnics.

Fed with a good breakfast, with our lunch packed, and lugging maps along with Rick Steves’ book on France, we headed out for the next phase of our adventure, extreme chateauing in Loire!

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First on the list, the elegant Chateau de Chenonceau gleaming on the Cher River with well groomed gardens and inviting walking paths.


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