I haven't been everywhere yet, but it's on my list travel blog





Tours is a delightful city and situated in the middle of the Loire valley provides so many opportunities to get out into the French countryside, drink good wine, eat gourmet French food and meet real French people who are slightly more friendly and a whole lot less abrasive than their Parisian neighbours.

Yesterday was a ‘best’ day. I got up early and wondered down to the local market, which is so pretty, on an island between to roads and bordered by massive trees, to pick up some fresh fruit. I love seeing a city in the early morning watching all the local people getting ready for their working day, children going to school etc.

I reckon all the tourists are sunning themselves in Nice or shopping in Paris as Tours is so lovely and quiet, no massive tour groups, restaurants are easy to get into and of course in amongst the cobble street laneways, Tours has wide leafy boulevards.

We are staying in a really quaint family hotel right in the centre. Lots of antique furniture and weird artwork.

Our Intrepid group left early this morning on our bikes for our cycle mostly on bike paths through the countryside, amongst corn and wheat crops, cows etc and it was perfect weather for this stunning 40 km meander to a tiny village called Villandry.

I loved the Villandry Chateau which was built in 1536, redesigned in 1754 to meet 18th century standards of comfort, the rooms especially kitchen and children’s rooms were so interesting and of course beautiful.

However it was the gardens which can be seen from almost every window in the Chateau which were the highlight of our visit. They were truely amazing and all still in bloom.

Priscilla, you would have been in awe, so beautifully set out, a love garden a kitchen garden, stone gardens, ponds and fountains, 3 levels.

So far this has been a highlight of my trip.

We have an interesting group of people on this trip, luckily also a harmonious one, especially considering as we are sadly all women.

We have a a crazy, huge, very loud but hilarious and heaps of fun American ‘family doctor’ who keeps us in fits of laughter (going through a divorce and a world of unfathomable life disasters).

A Greek Dermatologist from Sydney - our fashion model (and desperately looking for a husband), lovely person.

A woman (my age and my new best buddy, we hang out together quite a lot) from Brisbane who worked in intelligence in the Aust Military and has travelled all over the world with the airforce, very interesting person.

Then we have 2 American nurses who mostly do their own thing and an Australian waitress from Wollongong.

All in their mid 30’s, 40’s and 60’s which surprises me considering the type of trip involved. A very interesting group of people.

Our guide is a 32 year old experienced Intrepid guide from Spain and is doing an excellent job so far, especially considering as he is managing 7 women, so lucky to have such a nice small group.

Nadine, it looks like you James and especially Maddie are having a great time in Fiji. I am enjoying the pics of Maddie especially dancing with the Fijian lady. I wonder what she makes of her new lifestyle.

Evan, I hope you are excited for your birthday tomorrow, I shall call you. I’m sure Rachel will spoil you, she may even take you to a Harry Potter show if you are nice to her.

Cameron, I imagine you are pretty excited about you trip now as it gets closer.

Mum, I believe you are well and looking forward to Wendy and Alan arriving.

Eddie, I hope you and your mate are having good weather at Laurieton and that the Osprey Nest service is up to standard during my absence.

Time to get ready for train trip to Sarlat.

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