Monday, June 9, 2014

Blois to Chartres

I am tempted to say, that if you ever come to the Loire Valley, make your hub in Blois. Yes, the small villages of the castles are charming, quaint, yadda-yadda but Blois has the feel of Paris 25 years ago. It is the Loire Valley destination that the French head to.

The morning found us back in Center Ville at the Saturday Marche, and oh what a marche it was! Vegi’s, boeuf, handbags, mattresses, fish, paella, underware and puppies; all were represented. We strolled past booths lamenting that we did not have a gite to stay in for another week or so, so we could purchase our groceries.

Artichokes as big as my cat

We said au revoir to Blois and headed to Chartres, thru farm country. I have chosen a very tiny marked road on our map, which gets even smaller after leaving Chateaudun, our half way point. Sad that we are not here during sunflower season, nonetheless the fields are gorgeous. In the middle of nowhere we come upon an old decrepit moulon, sitting alone in the middle of vast fields of grain, with only a picnic table for company. Wild roses grow along the hedge.

Chateaudun is another lovely town and yes, there is a chateau. Parking, we find the square and a local establishment and have one of our best French meals and perhaps, the least expensive.
Not sunflowers, but equally impressive
Toward evening, we arrive in Chartres, city of luminaries. Their Notre Dame, was build about the same time as her famous sister in Paris. Flying buttresses et al. After I have a flying shit fit at our hotel (which is fodder for another post and a scathing review in TripAdvisor), Harvey gently leads me up the hill toward the cathedral and more importantly, to a pitcher of white wine 
Maze on the grounds of the Cathedral
We’ve all seen those videos of light shows on old buildings, right? Where it looks like they are falling down, or turn red or dragons come out of porticoes? In 2008, the City of Chartres installed a massive light show on many of the old churches found there, including the banks of the river, some newer buildings and various important homes located there. It was an absolutely astounding show, throughout the city. Do not miss it is you are anywhere near the area. But whatever you do, don’t take the Choo Choo train.

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