Clarkes Cycle Europe 2015 travel blog

Longeais from the Chateau.

Chateau Longeais

2 yellow VW's!

Vintage car rally on the Loire between Longeais & Rigny-Usse.

Heading towards Chateau d'Usse.

Chateau d'Usse - the Sleeping Beauty.

Rigny-Usse village from Chateau d'Usse.


Today's ride is called The Loire Chateaux. There were a number of options for riding. Each involved visiting towns with a Chateau.

We had breakfast at the farmhouse, then headed out with Mike & Teresa around 9am.The first section was a 26km ride to the town of Longeais. An 11th century chateau stood overlooking the town. All the buildings in this area are made of sandstone. They are pale in colour and although centuries old, appear soft & fragile. We admired Longeais Chateau from the outside & wandered about the town. A similarly aged church of St Martin was also nearby. We enjoyed morning tea from the patisserie directly opposite the Chateau.

Then we headed off to Rigny-Usse, just over 10km away. This is the home of Chateau D' Usse. Also known as the Sleeping Beauty. Legend tells that while staying at Usse, the 17th century writer, Charles Perrault, was inspired by the romantic feature of the place to write the tale of Sleeping Beauty.

It was breathtaking riding down the road with the imposingly beautiful Chateau d'Usse directly in front of us.

We had lunch at a nearby hotel & then headed inside the Chateau. Sections date back to the 15th century. The sandstone was obviously weathered but the Chateau was still stunning. A church, stables, gardens and caves carved into the sandstone cliffs behind were all part of the groundS. The caves were for wine storage. Walking inside the Chateau itself was like a maze. Very interesting how it's built and laid out. We rode back to Longeais & had time for an ice cream before our 5pm pickup.

Another evening of good food, wine & great company followed.

Yellow VW count: D - 8, S - 2, T - 2 (D & S each got one in shop window, T got one on the road)

Tractors: 4 and a half - couldn't decide if small tractor-like vehicle counted. We gave it a half.



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