Judy's Journal - Day 4
Sunday, September 16th


A poor nite’s sleep. Up at 8:00 for our normal routine. At breakfast, talked to Allan & his wife again. We tried to go some place else for breakfast, but ended up back to our Auberge.

            Alan & his wife Ella like the same English TV we do -- & Bill Clinton!

            Off to Chinon to the Fortress. When we get there, I discover I don’t have my passport! It’s not in the side pocket of my purse where I left it! I’m freaked!

            When we reach the fortress, we discover there’s free admission today to all French Heritage sites in Chinon, which is itself a world Heritage Site w/UNESCO. The fortress has a long history on the top of its tall hill: Built in 1000’s; Richard the Lionhearted; The English tried to breach the place; Joan of Arc was here to urge the Dauphin to fight the English, overthrow them & become the new French king & end the 100 Years war. Many towers overlooking the city & a rebuilt Royal Palace.


Chinon Fortress, overlooking Loire

building details, in Chinon


           Afterwards, we walk down the hill (& elevator) to the downtown.  Plaza in the center of town is very full of lunching French people. We end up on a side street – Rue de Voltaire – the oldest thoroughfare in the city, where Joan of Arc entered the city long ago. We have lunch at a sidewalk café – toasted sandwiches & me a crepe w/ cheese, tomatoes & mushrooms. Afterwards we walk the length of Rue de Voltaire w/ its old  Tudor style, stepped houses &  museum of Art & History (also free) where the first French governing assembly met. Also a church, started construction in 1100. At the end of our walk, into a wine tasting at the end of the old street in a cave. Owner there, where caves are 52° all year round. Caves dug out by hand to build fortress (needed rock). We buy “bulles” & a red. (Chateau de la Bonneliere Winery)

            Afterwards, Don, Tim & I walk old uphill roads back to the car, & Deb sits on a bench at the bottom of the hill & waits for us to come & pick her up in the car. We just walk into another wine tasting place to see what it’s like because we could see their vineyard from the fortress.

            Back to Villandry along the Loire River. Many people walking on this gorgeous day -- & many bikes.

            Rest for a while & check emails & write postcards to the girls.

            To dinner at 7:00 . We look around for other places, but end up again at the Auberge restaurant. For me soup (veggie), lamb & a strawberry sundae. Tim – boeuf, veggie soup & choc. mousse. Don – foie gras, chicken, & tarte tatin. Deb – escargots, chicken & apple/strawberry crumble.

            Back to our room to rest & go to bed. Another nice day – Day trip #4

            PS I found my passport in the pile of folders in our room. Phew!