Woke to thunder & some heavy rain early in the morning, we had decided late last night to catch the train & head to Blois or Amboise, or try & do both towns, in lieu of attempting any bike riding, around Orleans.
Shovelled down breakfast fast, taxi to Gare de Orleans, made the early train, on route decided on Amboise, as best pick as Marg & I, reckoned it was a beautiful town so characteristic of the Loire Valley, plus on our early stay over we had no time to check out Amboise Chateu Royal.
Arriving Amboise the sky was dark & threatening, thankfully only a few spits & the storm front went around us. The Chateau is located right in town on a high ridge, fantastic views all round. Just marvel how the place was built with such high walls, fine masonry carvings, oak wooden doors 6" thick and vaulted stone arched ceilings.
Chateau & gardens are magnificent, lots of history, the King who built a majority of the Chateau, was Charles V111, who apparently helped seal the union of France, thru his marriage to Anne of Brittany.
Charles V111 only lived 28 yrs but accomplished a lot, this Chateau being one, apart from leading 30,000 soldiers in taking Naples in 1495, this lead years later to the connection with Leonardo da Vinci , who spent the last 3 years of his life in Amboise, arrived when he was 64.
He was very close to the then King Francois, who called Da Vinci "first painter, engineer and king's architect" - that privilege earned Da Vinci an annual pension of 700 crowns, which allowed him the freedom to paint, draw, and invent things! Many of the concepts he invented were taken up & used centuries later - an amazing mind, way before his time.
Leonardo da Vinci's remains are now in a special little chapel, after finding his grave in the 1800's when restoring the grounds, he died in 1519.
Afterwards Marg & I walked around Amboise, while Steve & Ed checked out Da Vinci's gardens ( Clos Lucé ). We explored some of the old streets we had not covered last time, ran into a Canadian couple who were bike touring on singles, have been camping along the way, (brave soles) apparently they were looking for accommodation tonight as this is weekend all camp grounds close until next year!!! They had toured extensively around the world, and gave us some recommendations for future rides, which they reckon are excellent. They expressed the same sentiment - " it was much safer riding here than back home" (Canada) - so same as Australia, not too bike friendly on our roads - car centric !
Caught up together, about 1.30pm, some noddy heads so we decided to head back to Orleans and rest the body for a short nap this afternoon, which we will need as the Paris leg, approaches tomorrow.
PS: sorry about the history lesson, but I found it intriguing
Photos now loaded for yesterday