Thursday 31 May 2012

A meander

Today is, traditionally, the last day that you can hand in your tax forms here in France. The deadline is midnight 31st May [unless you submit online then you have a while longer].

The Centre des Finances Publiques in Loches has been a hive of activity recently. There were plenty of people bustling in and out when we arrived bright and early one morning several days ago. Those who are filing tax returns for the first time, as we are, are not able to submit online so we had to submit them in person. Just to make sure we'd done everything correctly we had a brief meeting with the officer who deals with those who are 'des etrangers' like us before handing our forms in. After his nod of approval that all was correct --this took all of 10 mins-- we felt we deserved some time off for good behaviour. After all, we handed everything in with days to spare!

Looking across the Cher at Savonnieres
With the sun shining we decided to follow the river Indre downstream from Loches to Artannes-sur-Indre where we cut north to Villandry. From Villandry we drove to Savonnieres and then crossed the Cher to Berthenay a sleepy little village huddled right up against the dike which protects it from the Loire. Here we turned eastwards following the D road along the dike until it ended up in the La Riche suburb of Tours.
wier and traditional boat, Savonnieres
Driving into Villandry via the little D road from Artannes-sur-Indre you literally drop down into the village and so we had a good view of the famous parterre gardens before passing the village church and turning right towards Savonnieres. Villandry was already quite busy with a fair few foreign and out of departement cars. We've visited Villandry only the once, [way back in the early 1990's] but we didn't stop for a repeat visit as it is likely to be 'on the menu' when friends come to stay over the summer.
heron peacefully fishing
Just opposite Savonnieres we stopped to have a look at the Cher and saw a lovely blue heron fishing. While we watched, a much smaller white egret swooped over him and he, ruffled, decamped with the egret chasing. The white egret then did a victory circle before settling down in exactly the same spot!
look hard and you'll see the egret coming in to land
All along the dike from Berthenay on the landward side we saw evidence of market gardens. Polly tunnels abounded and we saw asparagus which had been allowed to grow on, as well as salad veggies.
 Le prieuré Saint-Cosme
Not far from La Riche we spotted a sign to Le prieuré de Saint-Cosme. Run by Augustinian canons, it was a stop on the pilgrimage route to Santiago di Compostela. It also has a great literary connection as the French Renaissance poet, Pierre de Ronsard was Prior here [1565 - 85].
guided tour in action
There was a guided tour in full swing and we aren't that keen on these. Nor did we have much time left so we made a note to come back soon. With things to do, our time off for good behaviour was over and we turned for home.

We look forward to visiting the Le prieuré de Saint-Cosme properly!


Diane said...

Love this post and you have some great shots here. There are so many beautiful places in France that we have yet to see, Take care Diane

GaynorB said...

I'm also looking forward to reading all about your visit.

Fantastic pics!

the fly in the web said...

Well earned reward for getting your tax form in on time.

It used to be a local joke that the street where the tax office was situated only saw more than three people at a time in the hours between six and midnight on the last day...or evening...for tax returns.
I wonder if things have changed with online reporting...but doubt it.

Does that gabare have sails?

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Diane - so true; we've never been down to the deep SW. And then even when you know an area quite well there are always new things to see/find.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Gaynor - thanks :-) I was really pleased with the heron capture.

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Fly - Don't think it has! It was was all hustle & bustle!

No the gaberes [saw 2] didn't have sails; and assume they were there more to 'prettify' things.

Perpetua said...

Congratulations on the completed tax return, an aspect of French bureaucracy we thankfully don't have to wrestle with. No wonder you decided to reward yourselves with this lovely drive. I feel a trip to the Loire Valley coming on before long.....

Niall & Antoinette said...

@Perpetua - if we can tempt you from the lush pastures of Normandy it would be lovely to meet 'for real'. :-)