The Loire Valley – Part Four

I left off leaving Fontevraud Abbey for Saumur. Our first stop was Turquant. We left shortly after mid-day and were there in less than half an hour.  This was where Su had first booked for an evening, but changed her plans later. It was billed as a city of cave dwellers, troglodyte caves, troglodytique in French. We stopped for lunch. It seemed we had too much time after we finished lunch at 2pm so the ladies decided to do super market shopping. We arrived at Carrefour City at Saumur around 3pm as the ladies went away merrily for groceries while I stayed in the car. It was too cold inside the super market. They finished in about half an hour, but it was too early to get to the apartment, so we parked ourselves at a cafe nearby, from where Su learnt that we could check in earlier. We tried, but it wasn’t as easy as we thought. The GPS in the car sent us round circles. We were so close yet nowhere near. All’s well that ends well when we finally arrived, taking a lot longer than we had planned. Once again, such is the vagaries of such travels, with which one simply had to learn to live.

The apartment is a three storey standalone structure with a 35-steps spiral wooden staircase connecting the floors. The Ground Floor opened up to a gravel courtyard with basic garden furniture, plastic Ikea style white table with 6 chairs. The garden led to the main entrance, guarded by a flimsy wooden door, albeit with lock and key. The door in turn opened up to the main vehicular access which was well hidden and unmarked, which was why we had all missed it. The other side of the exit or entrance of the apartment led to parking and a narrow access or egress to more parking, which was where I parked the BMW.
The Ground Floor also housed the kitchen, fully furnished, a toilet, the dining room and sitting room, and a door leading to a basement which we had yet to explore. The dining and living rooms were lined at the back with cupboards and sturdy wooden shelves, six layers, which offered ample storage space.
The first floor comprised two bedrooms each fitted with a double bed, a bathroom with a bath tub, but no toilet. Mei-Mei took up the room closer to the baths and would use the Ground Floor toilet. The second floor also comprised two bed rooms, one fitted with a double bed, with an adjacent bathroom with a shower and a toilet, and a second bedroom with a playpen and a wooden work table.  All rooms are fitted with wardrobes, cupboards and shelves. We stayed in the room with a double bed.

Su stayed late, so that we had late breakfast and by the time I finished the morning routines, it was 11:30am. The ladies continued with their accounts reconciliation and appeared to be quite serious.

By 2pm, Su decided to visit the Chateau, which we did, by walking there, which was no big deal, an elevation of some 200 steps. We found out that it was Saumur Chateau Festival. There must be over 500 people gathering outside the Chateau waiting for a horse show to commence at 3pm. Su decided to seat ourselves to learn more about the situation. There was an amphitheater facing the Chateau with local people surrounding the place. Su ordered champagne and the rest was somewhat predictable. We had a restful and leisurely time reminiscing over the past weeks and eventually walked back to the apartment by 6:30pm. I took a shower and got into bed. Su followed suit and slept longer and deeper, so that we didn’t begin to prepare for our meals until after 9pm, by which time Mei-Mei had finished hers and half-prepared ours.

Finally, it was the last day of our visit in Loire Valley. The good news was that it didn’t rain, even though the forecast said 80% chances.  Indeed, it was rather warm, 21 or 22 degrees Celsius. We began final packing after breakfast and had the car loaded and ready by 11am.  The estimated journey to St Pierre des Corps was 85 km or just under one hour. Surely enough, the car arrived the vicinity by 1210hr when experienced problems locating a petrol station. Then, it was the last leg to return the car, which turned out to be another great lesson in mindfulness. We eventually got to the train station and I clocked off the last entry of the car notes at 1328hr, noting that the BMW had done only 653km with us. Considering that Kenny had done close to 700 miles, as opposed to km, in the five days he was with us, we haven’t done too much at all. The rain would leave for CDG at 1454hr, so there was plenty of time to while away. The journey time was 1.47 hours and involves two intervening stops, one after an hour and one 10 minutes before we reached the airport, meaning that we needed to be ready to check our luggage before the train approached each station, and CDG Aeroport was not the terminus. Most of the bags were placed between carriages and our seats were on the family or upper deck of the train.

And Su went downstairs to check the luggage at 1550hr and returned after the train restarted in 6 minutes. She managed to place two pieces of our luggage on the racks, which should help a bit. She again went down at 1620hr for the last movement as I promised to join her after the train started for Aeroport CDG. Mei-Mei made her move earlier, and I joined five minutes later. The leave-train operation went OK and we said goodbye to Mei-Mei at the platform as we tried to look for the shuttle bus to Hotel Hyatt Regency. Of course, we later found out, as I had mentioned in an earlier blog, that the hotel changed its name since Su made the booking, which brings me to the end of my recollection on our last visits to UK and France. I would talk to you again.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.