Judy's Journal - Day 3
Saturday, September 15th
“Day Trip #3”, as Don calls it.


            Up at 8:00 after a good nite’s sleep. Don’s cold bothered him until Deb gave him a decongestant. Deb & I have a sort throat! Oh no! (Mine later clears up!)

            Shower (short folding shower door & heavy pressure). Downstairs for breakfast in our hotel – dry cereal, plain yogurt, cut up fresh fruit in liquid, tea, croissants, etc. 10€ each. (Too high , we think.) We meet a very interesting English couple – Allen from Birmingham (industrial city in central part). Interesting. Just got married. Many travels – India, Canary Islands, Spain, Greece, Portugal, etc. Staying in our hotel. In France for a month.

            Walk across the street to the tourist bureau. Woman speaks great English. We figure out we can walk 2 blocks down the street to the Villandry Chateau, & off we go. 9.50€ each for chateau & gardens – self guided. Built in 1500s. Refurbished by new owner (Cavallo) & American wife in 1905. Family still owns it. Refurbished to Renaissance authenticity. Brought Spanish Art collection to house. Fabulous views from windows & formal gardens, Moorish wooden ceiling in one room. Authentic furniture. Room (mini) w/curtained bed area. Son of Cavallo was a member of the French resistance during WW2. He was turned in, arrested by Nazis, sent to concentration camp & shot & killed by Nazis when Patton was on his way.

            Gardens were some of the best we’ve ever seen – boxwood, vegetable & floral plants in intricate, geometric designs. Labyrinth of boxwood, lime trees, rose bushes, Russian sage, etc. Great views of town from “keep” (tower) also. Exit thru gift shop w/book purchase on chateaus of Loire Valley & monkey flashlite for Nina. Deb got a chateau “scarf” to make into a quilt.



from courtyard, at our apartment window

entry into our "Auberge" in Villandry


Chateau Villandry (too big to capture in any one picture!)

from Chateau, across gardens, looking at town Villandry


            Back to our hotel bldg. Lunch at corner restaurant outside. Such a nice weather day – nice temp – perfect in shade – warm in sun – Monet clouds.   Deb – chicken & frites; Don – ham & chs. sandwich; Tim – omelette & frites, me – lamb & frites.

            Back to tourist bureau for recomm. for wine tasting. Towards Tours in car to the town of Azay Le-Rideau & to a winery Chateau de L’Aulee where we taste bruts, chenin blanc & reds. Buy a brut classique for about 8€.

            Then on to a grocery store for jus de pruneau for me & apples for Tim. Back to the town of Azay Le-Rideau to the Pharmacie, where Deb buys some decongestant. We walk around the town & eventually return to the hotel for a short break. Deb gets her IPad hooked into the internet & we check our emails & write a few messages.

            Deb stays at the hotel (we find out later her foot is bothering her a bit), & Tim & Don & I walk back to the Villandry Chateau to see the gardens in the late day sun. (Hand stamp earlier allows us to be readmitted.) Up close walk in vegetable & formal gardens – distorted apples trees trained low on edge & bearing fruit, celery w/green leaves, apples in many varieties, coleus w/heavy stems and purple trimmed leaves, rosemary, peach trees, begonias – red, bok choy, many lettuce types and colors, pumpkins, etc. All huge. Swans on river water in moat. We exit after 7:00 thru gate by Romanesque church in town, w/birds soaring & landing on the roof. Many old houses & overflowing window boxes of flowers. Church closed. Nice walk back thru town. Short break in hotel before dinner in our hotel restaurant at 8:00. Escargots, trout, lamb, pork & veal, veggie soup & delicious desserts – brownie w/choc sauce & fruit sorbet, crème brûlée with fruit topping and coffee gelatin w/caramel sauce. Outrageously good but I think later the caffeine keeps us awake.

            We walk again to the Chateau to see it lit up at nite. No roaring Ferrari speeding by this time.

            Back to our hotel at 10:00 to go to bed. A lovely day.