Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Azay's wild water

white water rafting anyone?
Just before Christmas we paid a visit to Azay-le-Rideau, one of the Loire chateaux, which we've written about before. 

The day we went the weather was pretty gloomy with patches of intermittent rain. I can't remember if it was also as windy as it is today:- although it's nothing like as forceful as when "tempete Joachim" roared through on December 16th. Joachim had also brought lots and lots of rain and even 6 or so days later when we visited Azay-le-Rideau the deluge of water was still clearly affecting the river.

river Indre in spate
We drove through the village down to the river Indre where you can park by the bridge and from the road get a view of the chateau floating in it's lake before heading for the entrance.

There was no 'tranquil lake with mirror like reflections' last month just before Christmas! We were treated to a vista of muddy brown flood water. The normally peaceful Indre, which is diverted to 'moat' the chateau; raged under the bridge in full spate and nearly threatened to swamp a Christmas tree someone had put up next to a sluice gate for the festive season. 

festive tree above the floods

We stood and watched for a few minutes and saw at least 2 small logs go whirling downstream. A far cry from the fluffy clouds reflected in the water round Azay's chateau last August.

All the rain, high water and wind we've had in the last month or so will, no doubt, be giving curators of chateaux like Azay an anxious time.

14 comments:

the cuby poet said...

Coming to you via Going Gently. Your blog looks interesting so I think I will follow and read more.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@cuby poet - welcome and thanks for leaving a comment. Hope you enjoy reading our blog posts :-)

Tim said...

I think I'd rather not live in that mill house! Just needs a leaping salmon pasted into that last shot!
"Guess who's coming for Christmas dinner!"

the fly in the web said...

Echo Tim!

Whenever house hunting, houses alongside rivers were definitely out...as was anything along the Loire levees!

For the last house we broke the rules...but only because it was on a rocky spur far above the river that ran through the garden.

When in spate, whole trees would be carried downstream - at speed! Exhilarating, watched from a safe distance!

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Tim - Nor I--far to prone to flooding! Sadly no leaping salmon but plenty of debris.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@fly - It is exciting to watch, but like you prefer it at a safe distance.
Blowy tonight [a mere 65 kmh]and the Creuse and Claise [2 local rivers] were on edge of flooding.

The Broad said...

It is amazing and humbling how raging torrents and sublime serenity can be part and parcel of the same setting. My sister's home town of Quechee, VT, a tranquil Vermont town was devatsated by raging waters not so long ago -- very similar scenes to Azay-le-Rideau. Which, by the way, was the first Loire Chateau I ever visited -- lovely, lovely, place ...

ladybird said...

If I'm not mistaken, there are some watermills near that bridge, aren't there. I think I have a 10 or so year old photo of me standing on that bridge with the mills in the background. Ahhh, happy days! Martine

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Broad - we visited Quechee in the late '90s when we toured round New England in a rented RV. Enjoyed visiting--sorry to hear it suffered a bad flood.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Martine - you are not mistaken and one of those mills put out the Christmas tree in the pic.

Perpetua said...

Wow, that's very different from how I remember it when I visited back in the summer of 1965, just before I started university. The link to your previous post brings back memories, thanks.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Perpetua - you're welcome :-). We really enjoyed the extreme contrast but wouldn't like to see it too often!

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Thankfully our house is high so we have no problems with flooding, but with huge storms the water comes down the road and under our barn door. As this is also part of the house it can cause problems. It has though only been a major problem once since we have been here. Lovely photos. Diane

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Diane - with very heavy rain we get some standing water out amongst the trees and a bit of seepage under our barn door--but it is not part of the house.