France
Amboise

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  • Day6

    Château Le Clos Lucé - das Schloß

    August 24 in France ⋅ ⛅ 31 °C

    Zurück nach Amboise und wir stehen vor dem Park des Clos Lucé, hier verbrachte und forschte Leonardo da Vinci von 1616-1619 die letzten 3 Jahre seines Lebens am Hofe von Franz I., der im nahen Chateau Amboise residierte.

    Durch den Park laufen wir erst Richtung Chateau, die Mittagssonne brennt und unsere Motivation/Kraft ist leider dementsprechend gering.

    Das Schloss betreten wir auf dem Rundgang durch den Wachturm und dann über die Galerie/Wachturmmauer direkt zum Zimmer von Leonardo da Vinci. Im Erdgeschoss sehen wir auch noch die ehemaligen Schreib- und Experimentierzimmer von Leonardo. Im Keller gibt es noch eine kleine Ausstellung zu den verschiedenen Maschinen Leonardos und der möglichen Umsetzbarkeit. Insgesamt ist das eher mitteljährliche Schloss/Burg interessant und den Besuch wert.
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  • Day6

    Le Clos Lucé - DaVinci Ausstellung

    August 24 in France ⋅ ☁️ 32 °C

    Im Garten von Chateau Clos Lucé befindet sich eine Ausstellung zu den von Leonardo da Vinci erfundenen Maschinen und der Umsetzung. Dazu haben wir mit dem Eintritt von je 21 Euro (!) noch den Besuch einer Sonderausstellung über Leonardo da Vinci mit Zeichnungen und der Umsetzung des berühmten 'letzten Abendmahles' als Wandteppich gebucht. War interessant, aber die Sonderausstellung war nicht so ergiebig. Der Garten war insgesamt gut gemacht, wobei die Hörststationen im Text eher zu lang waren.Read more

  • Day30

    Rest Day in Amboise

    September 19 in France ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    On any extended ride rest days are something to be eagerly anticipated as they approach, and enjoyed when they arrive. I had especially been looking forward to our time in Amboise, partly because I knew how much the group would enjoy visiting the beautiful Clos Luce (the final home of Leonardo da Vinci), and partly because of the opulent accommodation we would be staying in.

    Since this was my third visit to Amboise, I decided not to return to the home of Leonardo, but to visit the imposing Chateau d"Amboise instead. This towering building dominates the centre of the city and is reached via a long sloping walkway. Although the external appearance is rather uninviting, I was pleasantly surprised at how beautiful it actually is when viewed from the inside.

    The Chateau d'Amboise occupies an prominent location that affords glorious views down to the city of Amboise and the River Loire. Unlike Chambord, the chateau is a much more aesthetically pleasing building and the rooms are of a more modest size. It is surrounded by spectacular lawns and gardens. If I was a king of France, I know which place I would choose to live in.

    The Chateau is only a short walk from Leonardo's home. During the time of Leonardo's three year residence at the Clos Luce, a secret tunnel was constructed to join the two buildings together. This meant that Leonardo could meet his patron Francois 1, without having to venture in the open spaces of the city. Leonardo's short sojurn in Amboise ended in 1519 when the great genius died, most probably as a result of a stroke.

    Maggie and I spent the afternoon wandering the streets of the old city and we ended up in a quaint Salon de The (coffee shop). As soon I entered the place, I had a feeling of deja vu. I remembered that I had enjoyed a cup of coffee in the same place, back in 2013. It is amazing how strong some recollections from the previous trips can be. Events that I thought I had completely forgotten come flooding back as if they were yesterday.

    Our evening meal was held at our hotel. It developed into quite a celebration as we all knew that it was the final night that Carol and Samantha would be with us. Tomorrow they will be leaving the team to make their way back to Paris, and then home to Australia. We will all be sorry to see them leave as they have been such a valued part of the group.

    Tomorrow our reduced group ofd 14 riders will continue to Tours.
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  • Day29

    A New Bike and a Beaver in Blois

    September 18 in France ⋅ 🌙 16 °C

    Ever since my unfortunate crash, way back in Sancerre, I had been having trouble mounting the bike. It is not easy to throw your hind leg over the seat when you have limited mobility in your knee. Each time I tried to mount the bike in the conventional way, not only was it ungainly, but I felt like I was in imminent danger of ending on the ground in another ugly tangled pile of bike and person.

    There is a very practical advantage to the low bar "unisex design" that is so popular in Europe. Not only can it be used by people of either sex, but it is much safer for anyone with a flexibility issue. I happen to qualify on both counts.

    Blois happens to be the location of the head office of Loire Valley Travel - the operator who supplied our bikes. They had already arranged for one of their bike mechanics to service all our bikes before we left the hotel. That gave me a thought.

    "Would it be possible to exchange my bike for a low bar bike ?", I asked.
    "My bike has a broken headlight because some idiot fell off it", I added.
    I was very pleased when the reply was in the affirmative.

    About 90 minutes later all the bikes had been checked, adjusted, lubricated and, best of all, I had been supplied with a replacement step through bike. I practised mounting and dismounting. It was sheer bliss. Gael had also swapped her bike for a similar step through and was also rejoicing loudly.

    It was while we were gathered by the Pont Charles de Gaulle (aka Big Bridge), that we made a wonderful observation. Down in the river there was a strange animal swimming and cavorting with the ducks. Was it a rat ? Was it a cat ? No, it was a beaver !!!! The women all squealed with delight. It was like watching Wind in the Willows. It really was a big beaver, and he even swam right over to our bank of the river to show off his swimming skills. It was magical way to start our day's ride.

    Although the weather was cooler than we had been used to, it still showed no sign of rain and the bike mechanic assured us that the freshening breeze was actually a tail wind. What a perfect start to a day's ride.

    I happily jumped on my new bike and off we went. Our destination for the day was Amboise, about 45 km downstream. Although 45 km does not sound like far, I well remembered that the previous times I had ridden this route we had been battered by the twin demons of hills and head winds. Although the hills were still there, it was amazing just how much easier life is when the wind is coming from behind you.

    The second part of the ride is across an elevated and exposed plateau and the tail wind really was a wonderful gift. Although the cycling conditions were amazing, a "domestic disagreement" between Maggie and me threatened to put an untimely end to our 45 year marriage. I guess the stresses of the last four weeks had to find an outlet sooner or later.

    Fortunately the atmosphere cleared later in the day and we were able to join the rest of the team for an absolutely divine dinner at "L'Alliance" restaurant. Everything about that place was incredible. It would have almost been worth the price of the trip, just to experience that food again. Many declared it was the best dinner they had ever had.

    Our home for the next two nights is the "Clos "D'Amboise", a magnificent 17th century mansion that has been converted to a 4 star hotel. It is a wonderful way to experience some of the style that the wealthy of that era enjoyed. I had one of my best night's sleeps since the trip began. Tomorrow is a free day to allow our team to explore this wonderful city where Leonardo da Vinci lived out his final years.
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  • Day27

    Villandry to Amboise. 52 km

    October 1, 2017 in France ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

    Our funky B&B was fine but the dinner and brekky just so-so...aren't we getting picky 😜. Think I'd get tired of ducking under beams pretty quickly too (not to mention Daryl!). Nice lady tho.

    Gorgeous ride in the morning...neat towns, nice track and views. Bit of a slog thru Tours mid-day but the bike route well marked and the cathedral jaw-dropping.

    Then into wine country with a vengeance...very tasty in fact 😋. Hanging our hat in Amboise for a couple nites. Balcony off our room is nice. Chateau right around the corner; oozing history. Definite tourist destination with usual tradeoffs...people watching always fun 👬👩‍🚒💩.
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  • Day6

    Day of the Chateaux

    June 18, 2018 in France ⋅ 🌙 64 °F

    Today is dedicated to the Chateux of the Loire Valley.
    We began by finding that the restaurants in Amboise were closed until noon on Monday, so we found a Carrefour City, bought bread, brie, butter, raspberry and apricot jam, orange juice and "chowed down" like a bunch of hungry tourists.
    By the way, using the parking payment machines is difficult at best. Spent way too much money and came away even more confused, even with instructions in English.
    First stop, chateaux Amboise. The beauty of this chateau sitting high agai st the Loire River, is really difficult to define. Add to this that so much of the original buildings, bulwarks and walls are gone, it is still impressive.
    We jumped into our Ford van (VERY COMFORTABLE for six adults and all our luggage), and made the short trip to Chateaux Chenonceau. This is by far our favorite chateau. It is not the largest (visiting Chambord tomorrow on the way to Paris), it does not have the largest gardens. What it does bring is "location, location, location." The chateau sits in a forrested area and spans the river Cher. It sits magestically within the confines of the forest, giving it a secluded feeling. The city of Chenonceau is about a mile away, so the chateau doesn't have the buzz of noise of Amboise or Blois which sit in the center of thier cities.we ate lunch out side so we could take in the view of the trees, chateau and the beautiful gardens. The burgers are wonderful and the fries are excellent.
    After taking many pictures, we drove back to Amboise and toured "Clos Luce" the home where Leonardo DiVinci spent his last years. It is filled with his drawings, paintings, water colors, inventions and thier plans. There are mock-ups of some of his inventions and video's play on monitors showing how the devices worked. From the garden, you can see the chapel, on the grounds of the Chateaux Amboise, where his body lays.
    We ate for one last time in Amboise, with thoughts of traveling north to Paris, after visiting the Chateaux Chambord.
    I hope sleep comes quickly.
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  • Day6

    Leo's House

    June 18, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 70 °F

    Chateau du Clos Lucé.
    Our next and last tour of the day was Chateau du Close Lucè is just down the hill from the Chateau D'Amboise. You can see it off in the distance through the window of the bedroom of the owner.
    If you remember from earlier, Leonardo Da
    Vinci was buried there. Close Lucè is where Leonardo lived the last three years of his life. It was built in 1471 on the foundation of another 12th century building.
    King Francois I loved Leonardo's work and invited him to come live in Amboise and commissioned his work, inspiring the Renaissance movement.
    I knew that he was an artist and sculptor, but I had no idea he was an engineer, architect,
    and inventor. The whole bottom floor of this chateau was dedicated to his inventions. There were journals and papers with his notes and sketches.
    He was ahead of his time and designed the first tank, automobile, airplane, helicopter, swing bridge, and the parachute just to name a few.
    IBM had even produced some of the models using materials from that time.
    By the time we finished there, it was time for dinner, so it was back to Amboise, where we ate across the street from where we ate the night before. It was called the Anne de Bretagne.
    We had some obnoxious people around us. First, two locals who wouldn't move there chairs away from our table while they drank their wine. They didn't want to be in the sun I think. Then three American girls who cackled a lot. Adam photobombed one of their selfies. I would love to be a fly on the wall when they catch that. We would end up seeing them the next day st Chambord as well.
    It would be our last night in Amboise, so we celebrated with Gelato also.
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  • Day6

    Chateau D'Amboise

    June 18, 2018 in France ⋅ ☁️ 63 °F

    Today did not start off exactly as we had planned. The plan was to grab breakfast at a pattiserrie just across the street from the Chateau in Amboise. For some reason that we still don't know, nothing was open on this Monday morning.
    We found a little grocery store and bought some fresh bread, butter and jellies and ate right on the Loire river. An elderly couple walked by smiling and said bon appetite.
    We then walked up the hill to the Chateau D'Amboise. The "castle" that dominates the skyline of the town of Amboise. There is a picture is from the lobby of our hotel.
    Several generations of kings and their families either lived or visited here. In fact, King Charles VIII was born here in 1470 and most of the construction occurred here under his direction around 1491 - 1498. 75% of the Chateau that he built still survived today.
    One of the kings who ruled during this time was known as the salamander king. Not a very attractive I'd say.
    There are tapestries here that are older than the United States themselves.
    The most notable aspect of this place is that Leonardo Davinci is buried in the chapel.
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  • Day10

    Chateau, Chateau, Chateau!

    May 6, 2018 in France ⋅ ☀️ 73 °F

    I LOVED the Royal Chateau Amboise, A+. What I loved was that it was charming, spectacular chapel (they say that Leonardo da Vinci's bones are buried in the chapel but I guess there is some question about that) gardens, view of the city and river below, use of stone, curl·i·cue spires and chirping birds.Read more

  • Day4

    Normandy

    June 16, 2018 in France ⋅ ☁️ 55 °F

    Today was overcast and cool along the French coast in Normandy.
    Of all things, we started our day off by eating at the "Golden Arches." The French version isn't very different than the USA, but there are subtle differences. The biggest complant is "no ice" in the drinks.
    We then toured Lounges-sur-Mur. This location has several large German gun emplacements, two of the 155mm guns were still in place. This unit did very little damage as it surrendered the day after "D-day."
    Omaha beach memorial -this is my second visit and it still moves me. 10's of thousands, on both sides gave thier lives in that first few days. The museum is very entertaining and explains the events in the two years leading up to D-day.
    When touring the US Cemetery, located just up the Omaha beach, what catches your eye is the number of crosses (Cross, Star of David, etc.) It seems like it goes on forever.
    The cemetery is just east of St. Laurent-sur-Mer. The site covers 172.5acres and contains the graves of over 9,000 American War Dead, most of whom died during the landings and ensuing operations.
    We next visited Sainte-mere-Eglise, got lunch and took pictures around the church. This city is so commercized that it tends to lose its importance.
    We drove to Pont du Hoc. This site is covered in craters from bombs delivered by US aircraf. The importance of this site for the Germans was the main lookout for the southern Normandy beaches.
    We finished the day with dinner in Bayeux
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Amboise

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