“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the Earth all one’s lifetime.”..... Mark Twain
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
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.