After leaving Chenonceaux, we drove through some more of the Loire Valley and stopped to spend the night in a lovely medieval town called Chinon. We stayed at the municipal campground with a view of the fortress across the Vienne River. Note that Jose refers to it as the Loire River in one of our video clips, which is pretty accurate since the Vienne merges with the Loire near Chinon.
We walked around the town and had tasty dinner in one of the restaurants. Beef Bourguignon for Jill, Steak et frites for Jose, and a fantastic appetizer of crevettes (with heads), scallops and small salad in a delicious dressing.
The campground stay gave us the opportunity to catch up on internet access, take showers and refresh tanks. By midday we were on the road headed toward the Bordeaux region of France.
We stopped for the night in another charming town called St-Emilion. Note the Jill refers to it as St-Epilion in one of the video clips - just a senior moment. We stayed in a municipal Aire located on the grounds of a school right in the city center. There were about half a dozen other campers in the Aire.
There are numerous Aires located all over France. Some are off the major highways, some in small towns, some off medium-sized regional roads. Most are just a free place to park - sometimes with toilettes, dumps for gray water and/or access to fresh water. Some Aires charge a modest amount and have more services, perhaps even electricity.
We have read cautions about staying in the Aires off highways due to safety concerns. Most European campers seem to agree that the Aires located in towns and smaller roads are quite safe and pleasant places to stay.
The St-Emilion Aire was the second time we used an Aire for an overnight stay in France. The equivalent in Germany is a Stellplatz, like the one we stayed in Mulheim-An-Der-Ruhr.