Loire Valley Sept 11

Today is the day we pick up the hire car and leave Paris.  What luck Elizabeth has experience driving on the other side of the road.  I elected myself to navigate for her, so armed with GPS and maps we drove off with bravado.  There were some moments of  does this GPS know what it is doing and only one police interaction where he indicated in that Parisian way we were not to be in the bus/taxi lane, but we made it.  Finally onto the auto way.  After about an hour we stopped at a gas station to buy a map of the area in anticipation of finding a village with a BnB.  No BnB but we found the Chateau du Chombord.  Probably the largest in the region.

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We had lunch and a leisurely stroll around the grounds then resumed our journey looking for place to stay.  Unfortunately this proved not to be after enquiring at several places.  We had previously made a booking at a Chateau for the next night, so we unanimously agreed to phone the Countess who owns the property to see if there were rooms available and yes she was able to accommodate  us.  As we drove up the  driveway we  couldn’t believe our eyes, here was like a princess castle set on top of the hill surrounded by topiary gardens with roses and chestnut trees.

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Our rooms were decorated in maybe 1900’s French Provençal style.  You could almost imagine the Count and Countess in the dining salon looking out the  windows  to the village below.  What a spectacular place.  We have had two glorious days here.  We investigated the village, rode push bikes through the estate, great food, wine and company.  What more could anyone ask.  Tomorrow  we pack and drive towards Lyon, onwards our journey.