Saturday, May 12, 2012

May 12, 2012

It was an early morning for the group as we had a wake up call at 6:30 a.m. Following breakfast, we checked out of our hotel in Etables-Sur-Mer and headed for the Loire Valley. We passed Rennes, where Mother Guerin was a teacher for many years. We did stop in Angers (for lunch: most opting for the fastest option at a fast food place. The "Magic Box" was the choice of our youngest traveler, who is 6), Saumur and eventually passed by Amboise (where Leonardo DaVinci stayed for three years from 1516-1519). We learned that the Loire River is the longest in France and that Chinon is where Joan of Arc met Charles II.

We arrived at Chateau D'Usee after passing the first nuclear plant in France--a strange proximity to one another! The Chateau D'Usee is also commonly referred to as the "Sleeping Beauty Castle". It is supposed to be what inspired the famed story. In the Chateau, there were scenes staged in rooms at the top floors related to the story, with even Maleficent making an appearance. After viewing the Chateau and the nearby chapel, we were able to head to the caves beneath the vineyard on the property for a brief wine tasting of the local French wine. After a quick break, it was off to the next Chateau (of which there are many!).
Chateau D'Usee

Funny moment at Chateau D'Usee

Chapel near "Sleeping Beauty Castle"
We arrived at the Chateau de Chenonceaux after crossing the River Cher. Wow. Truly, it was a stunning structure, but also incredible grounds surrounding it! It is easy to imagine people riding horses in dress from the 1500's while walking the grounds. Built in 1513, this Chateau housed the famed Catherine de Medici, wife of Henry II. Nearly every room had fresh flowers and the views from the second floor balcony were extraordinary. 

Chateau de Chenonceaux
Michael Boswell, Director of Madrigals
After a couple of hours, we headed to the next hotel in Saint Pierre-des-Corps in Tours. We had our earliest dinner in days at 9:00 p.m.! Hopefully a good night's sleep ahead will prepare us for our full day tomorrow with the Sisters of Providence in Ruille-Sur-Le-Loir!

Etienne, tour director at wine tasting

Students enjoying the beautiful day in France

1 comment:

  1. A full day!! I've LOVED following along and please know that while tomorrow here (May 13th) is Mother's Day, my thoughts will most likely be with all of you (especially my daughter, Megan) while you visit with the Sisters of Providence.
    Have a wonderful day tomorrow!
    Julie Neyer