Sunday 10 July 2011

Tour Touristique

Earlier this week we took our guests on a little 'tour tourisitque' to visit some of the sights in our area. We had a choice of either going roughly north to see the Chartreuse du Liget, Montrésor and then coming back via Loches or going south.

 Angles su Anglin
In the event we had a lazy morning so decided to opt for going south, visiting Angles sur Anglin, St Savin sur Gartempe and the Abbeye de Fontgombault. We pottered round lots of little back roads on our tour. Sadly the weather wasn't too great; though we were able to have lunch outside in Angles sur Anglin. By the time we were 'fresco-ed out' in St Savin, which we've written about before, we had to retreat indoors for a well deserved ice cream as it was beginning to spit with rain. A shame really as the buildings all 'light up' in the sun.

chateau ruins, Angles sur Anglin

On Friday our guests left to continue their holiday in Normandy and we caught the 7th stage of the Tour de France on TV. It came very close to us but we were too late to go and find somewhere to watch it 'for real' as they close the roads very early on. 

The TV coverage had lovely shots of places of interest such as Montrichard--one of the French commentators pronounced it "Monrichard" without sounding the 't' as would be normally the case in French. He was hastily corrected by his co-presenter as in this case the 't' is voiced. We were also treated to ariel shots of Chenonceau and other famous/less famous chateaux. Next time the Tour comes to our area we hope to be able to watch from the roadside--even the waiting takes for ever and it is all over in a flash. The Tour de France had left for other parts of France...

medieval bridge over the Gartempe in St Savin
Or so we thought...yesterday we had a laugh as we got caught up in a mini-Tour on our way back from doing the weekly shop in Loches. Near Bridoré they were holding a --we suppose-- serious amateur [or lower level professional] race. There was all the of the paraphernalia of the real thing: deviations, officials in high viz jackets with stop/go paddles, refreshments, advertising cars, spray painted messages of encouragement on

view to nave with frescos, St Savin church
the road and spectators sitting by the road-side to cheer the riders on. An official waved us--wrongly-- onto a small road which turned out to be part of the cycle curcuit!! So we had the odd experience of driving behind a support car and the racers!! Sadly no photographs as we didn't have the camera with us.


Jane and Lance Hattatt said...

Hello Niall and Antoinette:
It is so good to have visitors since they give such a wonderful excuse for pottering about doing very 'touristy' things that usually onenever finds the time to do. And youobviously have a wealth of wonderful choices in your area which we are sure that your visitors must have thoroughly enjoyed. Such a pity that the weather was not kinder.

And what fun to have been caught up in the 'not the Tour de France' race!

The Broad said...

Beautiful photographs -- the charm of the French village shines through even on the grey days... And the sprinkling of bike races make it all even more authentically French!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Jane & Lance--we are very lucky being on the southern edge of the Loire valley region there is loads to see.

@Broad--Angles sur Anglin holds the title of 'one of the prettiest villages in France'. There was a report in today's paper about the bike race--seems it is an annual fixture-- 109 km long & called 'Le prix de Bridoré'

GaynorB said...

Angles is one of my favourite places. When I've been in France without Tim, I've driven there a couple of times for a walk and to read my book in the cafe square.

Craig said...

I thought I posted a comment on this - but it didn't seem to show up. Sorry for my tardy response.
Lovely photos and it's always good to have guests to force you to be a tourist in your own back garden!

Jenny Woolf said...

Hm, it looks charming even in the rain. I expect sunshine would make it even better, it usually does....

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor--it is indeed lovely, just a pity the water in the Anglin is so low right now.

@Craig--it is amazing how touristy one can get. Living here you can sometimes 'forget' how much there is to see and do.

@Jenny-- Welcome to Chez Charnizay :-)! hope you enjoy our posts and thanks for posting a comment. In full on sunshine Angles is absolutely stunning. It is ranked as one of the prettiest villages in France. Well worth the visit.

ladybird said...

I love Angles-sur-Anglin, especially the way in which the ruins of the castle are dramatically looming over the watermill and the river. I hope to go back there one day to visit the ruins and to take some photos from up there ... Martine

Heleng said...

Hi there,
Have just found your blog. We have friends with a house in Charnizay village,just down the road from the church, and we spent a lovely few days with them last year. Can't wait to go back again soon. I've been reading some of your old blogs and saw that one of the requirements when you bought your house was that it was only 1.5km from the village for the shops. But I hear from my friends that the village shop is probably closing next month. Such a shame if that's true. Nothing like popping up the road for fresh baguettess, brioche and pain au chocolat for breakfast in the courtyard.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@heleng--Hi Helen! Welcome to Chez Charnizay!! :-)

Re the shop: we have heard mutterings and it would be a terrible shame if it did shut. Here's hoping somone else will take over the concession. Thankfully the butcher and post office are ok.