Chateaux Tours from Tours

Leonardo da Vinci is buried in the chapel at Amboise.

I learned a very hard lesson today: Never trust Google Maps to find something important, like one’s hotel! We had reservations at the Ibis Hotel in the center of town, in Tours, France, and I punched in our destination into the maps app on the iPad. When we finally got to the vicinity of the hotel (according to the map), we should have found it just behind the Kyriad Hotel. The chase was made all the more challenging by the myriad of one-way streets, and after about 45 minutes of driving up and down one street after another, we finally parked the car and walked to the Kyriad Hotel to ask directions. Seems that the Ibis Hotel is across town, on the other side of the train station! Google Maps wasn’t even close!

This morning I’m glad we signed up for an escorted chateaux tour so we didn’t have to get lost. Two chateaux were on the schedule: the one at Amboise and the other at Chenonceaux. Although the more elaborate one was at the latter, I preferred the one at Amboise because we didn’t have to fight the crowds. In the chapel we saw the tomb of Leonardo da Vinci who spent the last three years of his life here.

Some of the beautiful gardens at Chenonceaux.

Cathedral of St Gatien, Tours.

After the tour ended we went back to town and saw the Cathedral of St Gatien, which had beautiful stained glass windows. The exterior is very ornate and is in the process of being restored.

Spectacular windows at St Gatien Cathedral, Tours.

Carl was determined to do some wine-tastings so we drove to Vouvray and visited two wine caves: the Domaine des Lauriers and the Chateau Moncontour, the latter of which had a wine museum. While it was incredibly hot and sticky outside, inside the wine caves it was refreshingly cool. I couldn’t tell whether we were actually underground or whether the caves had been dug into the mountain.

Wine caves in Vouvray.

About Katherine Crosier

In addition to playing the organ I am interested in documenting life's special moments through journaling, scrapbooking, photography and slideshow production. My family just groans.
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