Sunday, August 31, 2014

Château Gaillard

Here is another château in Amboise that has generally been unknown to the locals and certainly to the tourists.  But it is now being somewhat "rediscovered" following the purchase and the start of renovations by a new owner in recent years.  Since it is privately owned, it has not been open to the public.  However, this summer, the owner has allowed access to the grounds and the first floor of the château, the only floor that has been almost completely restored.  They have done a magnificent job of the renovation.

The château has an amazing history.  It was built by Charles VIII at the end of the 15th century.  It continued to be used by the royal families through the 16th century.  There's way too much interesting history to tell here, but for you Francophones, here is a link to the owner's blog and a Wikipedia link that will tell story.   (Note that the English side of Wikipedia has an article about another château with same name but not this one.)  I don't know what the future holds for this little gem.  I can only hope that it will be open to the public in the future, at least from time to time.

Friday, August 29, 2014

sunflowers and Queen Anne's lace

I hope you haven't had enough of these beauties.  Both are so plentiful this year.  I found this scene on a little back-road while trying to find a new route to Chenonceau.  Again, it's too bad I didn't bring my ladder on the bike so I could show you just how enormous this sunflower fields is.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Here's the last blog stop on my virtual tour of the bike ride of last week, Candé-sur-Beuvron (of course Amboise was the last stop on the real tour).  Going down a rather steep hill, I had to hit the brakes hard after seeing this red door against the white church and blue sky.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


The next stop on my virtual bike tour is the town of Beaugency which has this lovely bridge (from the 14th century) over the Loire.  This town has many interesting sites to see and visit.  Sigh, next time.

Monday, August 25, 2014


Here's another point of interest on the big bike ride I took last week.  The little town of Menars hosts the château de Menars which was once owned by Madame Pompadour in the 18th century.  We didn't have time to visit it, but I will be back another day for sure.  (The above is a little church "next door" to the château and close to the Loire and bike path.)

Sunday, August 24, 2014


On Tuesday I went for a 10-hour bike ride with some of my neighbors in Amboise... 112 KM / 70 miles along the Loire river from Orléans to Amboise (we took the train to Orléans in the morning).  Needless to say, I am still recovering as I have not been riding anywhere near that distance for many years.  Anyway, I did get a few snaps that I'll be posting starting with this one of the city of Blois.  That's the cathédral Saint-Louis de Blois in the center.  Most of the ride was on either bike trails or roads with very little traffic.  Bike tourism has developed into a major commercial resource for this area and I can see why.

Friday, August 22, 2014

les fleurs sauvages

This has been a spectacular summer for wildflowers here.  So many different varieties, so many different colors.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

the new bike path

A new section of the bike path network opened recently and it was instantly one of my favorites.  While this section cuts through open fields, the majority of it crosses the forest of Amboise.  Riding for kilometers under the forest canopy is wonderful on a hot summer day.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

wheat and grapes

Two major crops in this area in one shot.  The wheat field has already been harvested while the vendange (grape harvest) will be of course in the fall.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

home on the quai

This home on Quai Général de Gaulle is an example of an architectural style seen in a number of homes in and around Amboise.  I took this from atop the levee in front and in between the rows of enormous plane trees that line the quai and the market spaces.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Eglise Saint-Laurent

This church in nearby Montlouis sits atop a steep climb up from the Loire.  This scene gave me a good excuse to get off my bike to take a snap.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

the pagoda from from the forest

I recently discovered a path through the forest of Amboise that is accessible from the bike path I also recently discovered.  The bonus is that this path passes nearby the pagoda at Chanteloup.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Thursday, August 14, 2014

what are you guys looking at ?

Oh yeah, I guess that would be the sun.  It's been a good year for sunflowers this year, that would mean there are lots of big fields around Amboise for me to shoot.  And they're hard to resist... even from their backsides.  This will not be the last shot of this season you can be sure.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Queen Anne's lace

Here it's known as carotte sauvage (wild carrot) and boy is it plentiful this year in and around Amboise. This will not be my last photo including these wonderful "weeds".

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


OK, given the title you may have been expecting a boxing match, but I was thinking more of a slug "festival" that I happened upon during a recent bike ride.  There were several of these guys (limace rouge or arion rufus) crossing the bike path that traverses the forest of Amboise.  This one was was about 4 inches / 10 cm in length.

Monday, August 11, 2014

the wallpaper

This old wallpaper in the attic at Château Chaumont has served faithfully for many years but it is showing its age now.  Some day I suppose they will renovated the attic spaces but I confess I will miss its current tattered state.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Sunday market sausages

Oh man I love these sausages, and they are available in so many different flavorings as you can see.  I try not to get them very often, but I figure a little sausage now and then is not too bad for you.  In fact, I'm reading more and more that it's not the fat (in reasonable quantities) that's so bad for our diets, but the sugars.  How's that for a rationalization.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

le Chemin de Bellevue

The name Chemin de Bellevue says it all, "the pathway of the beautiful view".  Just to the right and out of the photo is a lookout from a cliff overlooking the Loire.  I always take this little diversion from the marked bike path to enjoy the view and the beautiful homes and gardens that line it.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Thursday, August 7, 2014

the cottage of Laura and Peter

On a recent bike ride through the nearby town of Montlouis, I stopped to snap this cottage proudly labelled with the names Laura and Peter.  Somehow these names don't sound too French to me. Anyway, I find the architecture quite interesting.  Yet another obscure history that I could not find on the internet other than an old post card shown below.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

they're on the way !

These grapes in late July look pretty happy but have a ways to go.  They were smaller than they look in this close up.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

the Chancellery revisted

Here's another view of the Chancellery at Château Chenonceau.  This shot taken in June includes the wisteria still in full bloom.

Monday, August 4, 2014

the reflecting pool

Well, I'm off on another road trip this week so don't be surprised by the radio silence.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

the roof of Eglise Saint Florentin

The lichen-encrusted roof of Eglise Saint Florentin took on this glowing appearance at sunset.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Friday, August 1, 2014

City Daily Photo theme day for August - "the take-away store"

In Amboise, this is the best "take away store" in town... the Sunday market.

The first day of every month is theme day for the City Daily Photo bloggers.  See how others interpreted today's theme here.