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A Week of Affordable Adventure in France’s Loire Valley

After Paris, Mom and I took the bus to Tours in the Loire Valley. We rented a 5-speed car for 7 days and drove all over the region. Mom was a great driver! We visited Montlouis Sur Loire, then Les Rosiers sur Loire/Saumur, then we drove to Brittany and stayed at an Airbnb in Elven and drove to the coastal town of Carnac. We ended our tour with a stop in Angers and then back to Tours, where we dropped off the car and mom took a train back to Paris to catch her flight home to Texas and I took a train to Hendaye to start my backpacking trip.

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5-speed rental Citreon hatchback, which Mom drove around like a pro. I was the navigator.
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Our view from the Airbnb in Montlouis Sur Loire. Our hosts were an older French couple who loved cats and going to Morocco.
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Taste testing baguettes. This is one in Montlouis Sur Loire.
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On an evening walk in Montlouis Sur Loire. Strolling down to the river bank.
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Picnic dinner in Montlouis Sur Loire. Mom bought some pate and we had a baguette and wine. Mom also bought some cheese that stunk up our car for the next week. Haha!
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Our first chateau! We visited Chambord. Huge place with 20+ fireplaces and acres of land.
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Elaborate everything at Chambord.
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Our second chateau – Chinonceau. This one was my favorite. It was right on the river with a big dining hall built on a bridge. It was also surrounded by a forest and had a Sycamore lined walkway up to the front door.
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Gardens at Chinonceau.
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Mom next to one of the Sycamores at Chinonceau.
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Sunflowers driving through the Loire Valley. We had quite a bit of rain!
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Evening glass of wine at our Airbnb in Les Rosiers Sur Loire.
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Our Airbnb host in Les Rosiers Sur Loire, had the sweetest Airedale Terrier named Easy. She liked to greet us and watch out the window from “her chair.”
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Continental breakfast at Les Rosiers Sur Loire. Baguette, butter, jam, coffee and orange juice. Backyard eggs, if we requested.
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Walking to dinner in Les Rosiers, along the Loire river bank.
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On a bridge between Les Rosiers and Gennes, on a walk before dinner
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Creme brulee for dessert in Les Rosiers.
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Mom got the citron tart and I liked hers better. We shared. 😉
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Ventured in Saumur from Les Rosiers and happened to visit on Market Day.
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Lots of browsing and sniffing of cheeses!
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A vendor even brought his goat to market his goat cheese.
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Lazy/rainy day in Saumur called for an afternoon coffee break.
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After Les Rosiers/Saumur, we went to Brittany and the coast. It was chilly, but the place was still buzzing. Lots of people on holiday.
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These are giant monolithic rocks in Carnac in Brittany. There are hundreds of them and their all lined up, but nobody knows how they got there.
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More big rocks in Carnac.
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After the coast, we went back inland to a little town called Josselin. It was voted to be one of the most beautiful villages in France. We spent an afternoon walking around and then shared crepes and cider…the regional specialties.
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In Josselin.
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Driving back to our Airbnb on a Sunday evening, on the hunt for a restaurant open for dinner. Everything’s closed on Sundays!
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We found a pizza place open and brought it to the park and enjoyed the sunset with some wine.
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Following Brittany, our next stop was Angers for a day. We had lunch in a park cafe and Mom had escargot!
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We walked the small streets of Angers.
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Outside of the Beaux Arts Museum in Angers.
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Angers had a nice central plaza with a community garden and chairs for relaxing.
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A big fortress in Angers. The moat area had been converted into an ornamental garden.
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Our last stop was Tours. We were only there for an afternoon, but had a nice picnic.
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The very important picnic ingredient. Baguette!
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Some Chinese tourists walked past our picnic and must have thought we were locals. They sat right down next to me and posed for a photo.
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And then another one did the same thing. And another one after that.
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We enjoyed walking around the Tours Cathedral. Very tall and filled with light.
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Taking a reading break in Tours Cathedral.
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Tours Cathedral light.

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