|We were cycling on a backroad from Amboise to Chenonceaux on our way to see the Chateau de Chenonceau. The road was empty of cars and bicycles but ahead we saw a family of four. As we got closer we could hear them speak English and closer yet we could see their T-shirts which had many company logos on the back. One logo that caught my eye was ”Encana”. I knew they must be from Canada. “Where in Canada are you from?” I asked. “Alberta”” was the reply. “Where in Alberta”? “Edson”. Oh no! now I was going to have that Disney tune running through my head all day “It’s a small world after all, It’s a small world after all”.
After a roadside conversation they offered us one of the cycling maps they had from their tour package. What a god send as we had rented bikes but weren’t sure where we would go after our visit to Chenonceaux. Now we had a 50 km route to follow through the Loire countryside. It was wonderful. Thanks, Edson!
The Loire Valley is famous for its many chateaus built during the Renaissance (15th century) and onward. These were built purely by royalty and the rich for pleasure and were not castles for defence. The valley is also famous for bicycle touring, canoeing on the river and, hard to believe in France, vineyards and wine.
Surprisingly, the Loire River does not seem to be famous for swimming, but, it should be. During our visit the days were very warm. We were wondering why the locals weren’t using the sandy shores of the river as a beach. Hmmm, it must be polluted, we thought. Well, on our third day we decided to “head to the beach” just to walk along and get a bit of sun. That done, we went over the bridge into town to pick up some stuff. Walking back over the bridge, back to our hotel, we noticed a Yellow Lab swimming in the river. It reminded us of our dog, Chockamo. Then we noticed his master swimming with him. Then we saw some young men who thought an impromptu dip would be a good idea as well. Since we had our swim wear we decided to jump in! It was a party! We are still not sure if the Loire is polluted, but we sure had fun swimming in it. Today, Rita is complaining about very dry skin and, (don’t tell her, but I think it is turning yellow)...”I’m sure it’s nothing, dear”.
On tap and board: L’eau du robinet and Rillons avec pommes.