Arrondissement d'Issoudun

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    • Day43

      At Châteauroux - a city

      September 10, 2021 in France ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      A rather arduous day today, in total we have walked about 27 kms, including walking back to the chemin from Neuvy Pailloux (3 kms from the hotel) and extra walking now and then to see which route had signs! Anyway, we survived with no aches or pains, just rather tired!

      But again, I have the dinner from last night to report…again, it was amazing. Our hotel, which was rather equivalent to a roadside motel, produced the most beautiful food - in taste and presentation. Even a fancy and delicious amuse bouche to start. We drink local wine usually, not on the international market, but we love it. This dinner Amr started with a lentil and fish dish, and I had a gazpacho (with many side garnishes), Amr had fish and I had duck for mains. Both fantastic, and the accompanying vegetables were all little specialties in themselves…hard to describe. Imagine perfectly smooth mashed potato, wrapped in a cylinder of a very fine potato crisp, planted with chives and a nasturtium!

      Today I felt a little seedy, and I think it may be due to an overdose of this wonderful food - having to acclimatise to the butter and cream used to make it all so delicious. It doesn’t feel heavy at the time, but tonight we may seek out a Vietnamese meal (no hotel dinner tonight - we are on our own), and something very light.

      Setting off this morning it was cool - 18° - and some moisture in the air. It had rained quite heavily yesterday late afternoon, and a little during the night. After a while we took out ponchos, but refrained from actually putting them on, and it all cleared up, and during the long walk it was even sunny and a little too hot by the end. But a breeze, and mostly lovely walking conditions. One funny incident was when Amr was exploring a potential path (wrong as it turned out) - he saw 14 rusted Citroens from the 30s all sitting in a row in a field!!

      The first part was very pretty and comfortable but the last half of the walk got a little tedious as we approached Châteauroux. There was some highway walking, and then when we took the path around the city, a sort of ring road path, the signage through the fields got very poor and we just ploughed on and hoped, and then suddenly the signs would turn up again. It is always tedious entering cities, but we made it, and when we approached the centre Amr turned on his Google maps to lead us to the hotel. We got here just before 4 pm, so quite a long day. Cute hotel, small room, all good. We will sleep well tonight.
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      You made it. Cheers 👍🤪


      Any photo of the citroens? Tony


      Quaint little town and love the roundabout! The food looked wow once again. The fish looked like it was cod or something with fluffy white flesh with a beurre blanc sauce. And the duck looked awesome also …you Just know that sauce would have been perfect. Would have gone very nicely with an elegant Loire red👌🏼

    • Day45

      Camping Chateauroux

      April 12, 2022 in France ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

      Der heutige Tag bestand aus Auto fahren. Der Campingplatz Le Rochat / Belle-Isle war das Ziel. Er ist ganzjährig geöffnet und eignet sich daher sehr gut als Transitplatz für Fahrten nach Portugal. Dafür ist er geeignet.
      Morgen geht es heim
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      Weiterhin gute Fahrt. Wollt Ihr wirklich die ganze Strecke in einem Rutsch fahren?


      Ihr kennt das doch: Termine, Termine. Außerdem wollen wir am Samstag aufcampen am Main 😎😉


      👍 🤣

    • Day42

      Neuvy Pailloux - cooler and easier

      September 9, 2021 in France ⋅ ☁️ 24 °C

      First I will relate the end of yesterday, Wednesday, as again we had one of those surprise fabulous dinners. First we looked round Issoudun which was a more bustling small town than we’d almost seen anywhere. Shops were open and there were people visibly doing things and bars open in the main square. We tracked down our walking route out of town for this morning, not difficult, and then sat in the square for a beer. Still extremely hot.

      Dinner was 7.30, and in our little hotel. Arriving at the dining room we could see we were in for a treat. Immaculately set tables, Paul approved glasses, and lovely menu. I started with a “taboulé”of tuna, quinoa and herbs with an amazing sauce, Amr had carpaccio of tête de veau, we both had pan fried whole trout with amazing vegetables (note in the photo the little plastic bird that is in fact a lemon squeezer) (and don’t note my face which was still blazing from the heat). On the list for desserts and fromages there was “omelette norvégien” and I asked what it was, imagining some cheesy eggy thing, but she said meringue, and it turned out to be a sort of mini bomb alaska!! (I guess that’s where the Norwegian came in)…So we shared one! Such a lovely way to end rather a hot and less interesting day.

      So this morning we set off before 9 as we wanted to arrive at Neuvy Pailloux by 2pm, as Cécile had warned us that the hotel reception would be closed between 2 and 5. Easy, as only about 15 kms, and it turned out to be an easy and pleasant walk. It was still more of the same open plains - ploughed fields, sunflowers and today some rapeseed for the first time. But the difference was it was cool!! It did rain in the night, though not thunder, and the temperature had dropped to a very pleasant level, and there was mostly a high cloud cover - made all the difference. The directions were clear, and the signage good. We had to turn off the true path at Thizay - a small town, and come 2 kms off track to here and our hotel. I think it is the only place between Issoudun and Châteauroux where we go tomorrow, so will have to walk the extra kms back to the track, plus the 21 km on to Châteauroux, so a longer day tomorrow, but we know and will take it easy.

      Meanwhile we are having a wonderful afternoon of leisure in our big, airy room, catching up on reading, emails, news (Amr!) as the village of Neuvy Pailloux is tiny, and we have already seen it. Dinner here tonight. They were doing a roaring trade at lunch time, but I don’t anticipate an experience like last night (this hotel is on a big main road), but you never know - this is France.
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      Wonderful photos. Still salivating over the delicious meal…


      How delightful! The rapeseed fields are so striking. Xx


      Meal looks a ripper.

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    • Day41

      More conventional today - at Issoudun

      September 8, 2021 in France ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

      It is almost 4 o’clock and still so hot…it says 29°, feels like 31° on the app, and certainly feels like it. But am sitting up in a conventional hotel room in Issoudun, very nice, Amr is doing yoga and I must do some yin as I felt a tingle in my SI joint again…the thunderstorm is predicted for about 7 pm and I think it will be a relief and cool everything. I gather there has been a very cool and wet August and most people are delighted with the hot burst…but not me. It was good to get moving again after our lazy rest day in Bourges. It was better to be walking and doing something, than not getting the energy to get up when you don’t have to! But today we were very clever we thought.

      Our instructions were to walk from St Florent to Issoudun. We had walked more than 5 kms off the track to get to St Florent from Villeneuve, and from Villeneuve to Issoudun added up to about 23 looking at the instructions…total of possible 28 kms…so we called the taxi to get a lift back, and he was the same taxi that was booked to take our bags anyway, so no problems. And a bonus was that, as it was going to be so hot today still, we got the taxi to drop us at a closer town - Chârost - so we only had to walk about 17 kms by the time we got to the hotel - Les Trois Rois. Thank god, because I’m still boiling.

      Last night remained a delight..we had dinner outside by the pool…salad and a veg tart (all from the garden of course) and chicken and potatoes, goat cheese and melon. Just divine…still light till 8.30-9pm. We found out that the main house was once a Royal hunting lodge in the days when kings and princes went hunting. Now such a peaceful oasis.

      Went back to our little caravan after dinner - amazing how everything worked in that small space…Amr had to watch his head with one low beam, but otherwise all you could want..perfectly functioning bathroom, even a TV! It took a while for the cool evening air to enter and cool the place down - but Amr annoyingly fell fast asleep at 9.15!! It took we till after 11, because firstly it was much too early for me, and also I had to wait till the air got deliciously cooler…that is one thing here…there is usually just a big doona on the bed, so it is all or nothing…no chance of a light covering.

      Breakfast again outside by the pool and we hopped in the taxi with our luggage at 9 am. Uneventful walk, but still the vast fields in every direction, with occasional clumps of trees in the middle. Got a little off track on our way in through a boring rather industrial part, we cut across a field as we could see the main road we would soon need…came across a big supermarket and bought supplies for lunch, and for tomorrow, and walked on an sat in a little square on a shady seat, and found we were exactly where we should have arrived, from a different road, by the correct route. Easy to find our hotel, and now showered etc will go and explore before the storm…
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      Amr, you look right at home at the Royal Hunting Lodge.


      So many knobs!


      Great pic Amr!

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    • Day3

      Chateau Valencay

      March 20, 2022 in France ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      Das erste Schloss 🏰 auf unserer diesjährigen Reise durchs Loiretal war Château Valencay.
      Nach seinem äußerlichen Erscheinungsbild stammt aus dem 16. Jahrhundert. Mit dem Bau wurde 1540 begonnen, der von Jacyues d‘Estampes in Auftrag gegeben wurde.
      1803 erwarb Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord mit Napoleons Hilfe dieses Schloss für 120.000 Franc. Talleyrand wurde 1754 in Paris als 2. Sohn geboren. Durch seinen angeborenen Klummfuß wurde er von seinen Eltern für die geistliche Laufbahn bestimmt. 1788 wurde er zum Bischof geweiht, was für seine Herkunft recht spät war. Inzwischen war er ein sehr hoher Beamter und gehörte am Abend vor der französischen Revolution zur Gesellschaft der Dreißig. Da er sich zu dieser Zeit für die Verstaatlichung von Kirchengut aussprach, wurde er 1791 von Papst Pius XI exkommuniziert. Ob Talleyrand dieses vielleicht sogar wünschte, ist nicht klar zu belegen. Jedenfalls lernte er die Schönheit Madame Grand ungefähr zu dieser Zeit kennen und lebte mit ihr in wilder Ehe. Napoleon Bonaparte forderte 1801 seinen Außenminister auf, sie zu heiraten oder sie aufzugeben. Im September 1802 gaben sich Talleyrand und Catherine Grand das Jawort und bezogen wenige Zeit später dieses Schloss. Die Treppenstufen wurden auf das Leiden von Talleyrand angepasst und lassen sich äußerst bequem nehmen. Die reich möblierten Räume spiegeln den Prunk des Lebens auf diesem Schloss Anfang des 19. Jahrhunderts wieder. Von 1808-14 wurde der spanische Prinz auf Napoleons Befehl gegen seinen Willen, aber auf möglichst angenehme Weise, von Talleyrand festgehalten.
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    • Day1


      December 25, 2022 in France ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

      Den restlichen Tag verbrachten wir mit Strecke machen. Unser Weg führte uns über Aachen, durch Belgien, an Reims vorbei bis nach Vierzon. Übrigens ist es kein Geschenk in Frankreich im Dunkeln durch den Wald zu fahren. Wir hatten 2x ein Reh auf der Straße und eine Wildschweinrotte 🐗 hat direkt vor uns die Fahrbahn überquert. In Vierzon nahmen wir daher gegen 23 Uhr ein B&B Hotel und legten uns schnell schlafen.
      Den nächsten Morgen begannen wir mit einem Frühstück beim Bäcker.
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    • Day5


      June 19, 2021 in France ⋅ ☁️ 27 °C

      Een beetje meer kilometers gereden dan anders.

      Vanmorgen zijn we rond 9 uur vertrokken. Eerst naar de service, water lozen, water tanken,, toiletcassette legen en hoppa gaan met die banaan. Natuurlijk weer helemaal binnendoor.

      Na een klein uurtje konden we weer rustig verder op pad door onze dorpjes en kronkelweggetjes want die blijven voorlopig nog favoriet. We reden door het centrum van Vierzon waar iedereen al druk bezig was met de versieringen voor 2 juli als de Tour door de stad komt. Midden op een rotonde stond een kleurige ren fiets te pronken en er hingen overal vlaggetjes. Heel feestelijk.

      We kozen deze keer voor een camping met Nederlandse eigenaren. Fermette de la Haye.

      Monsieur de la Haye kwam ons al tegemoet en vertelde dat de camping zo goed als verkocht was. Wij waren de tweede gast want ik zag nog een caravan staan. De plaats die hij ons toewees zag er prachtig uit. Het leek wel een privetuin. De prijs is €18 met of zonder stroom. Ach ja, Monsieur de la Haye was al op hoge leeftijd gokten we en had de boel zo goed als verkocht en wat het tuin onderhoud betrof nam hij het niet meer zo nauw, jammer. Het zwembad hebben we niet gevonden en de jeu de boules baan was een grote bloemenzee. Niet erg handig maar wel mooi om te zien.
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    • Day45

      Solignac to Vatan

      November 20, 2022 in France ⋅ ☁️ 9 °C

      We had a great nights sleep at our park up in Solignac. It was freezing cold this morning at just 3°c out and 6°c inside when we we up at 6am and we weren’t in any rush so I got up and put the gas fire on and went back to bed until 7:30am.
      When I eventually got out of bed at 7:30am I realised the first gas bottle had run out so I had to go outside and switch them over in the cold anyway.
      At 10am, after breakfast, we filled up with fresh water and dumped the grey and then headed into the main city of Limoges.
      It was only a 10 mile journey but for early on a Sunday morning when everything is closed it was a nightmare journey and the traffic was the worst we had seen on this entire trip. We were heading into the city for LPG and once we found the 24 hour automated garage it was a quick and easy fill, once we had worked out which adapter to use. For the first time ever we used the dish adapter and it was the simplest to use out of all of them.
      Once we had gas we could go again. We had 2 completely full LPG tanks and 90 miles left to travel and 88 of those miles were on the A20 motorway. It wasn’t scenic but it was easy and quick with no hold ups and at 12:30pm we arrived at the airè du camping carpark in the town of Vatan.
      The site is called Camping de Mon Village Vatan and it has 48 pitches all enclosed by hedges and trees, a football pitch/ basketball court with a running or cycling track around it. Electric at every pitch and water although it’s currently switched off because it is getting cold and at the entrance there are 8 QR codes leading to different hikes and bike rides. It is a beautiful site and it must be booming in the summer. We paid €11:50 all in. But we’ve since worked out that our last airè du camping car park didn’t charge us and the money went onto our account so we feel like we got our money back on that crappy airè we stayed at in Saint-Lary-Soulan that had no water or electric.
      The village itself doesn’t offer much to do but there was a museum of the circus which looked interesting so at 2:30pm once the rain had abated we went for a walk into town and found the museum which fortunately for us was open.
      It cost us €5 each to get in and Ellie wasn’t particularly bothered about going in because we knew it would all be in french but it was something to do rather than just sit in Wanda and it was actually quite fascinating.
      It started off with the really early circus stuff from the 1920’s and 30’s, they had clothing from famous French circus people, photographs and even original posters on the wall. Then it went up through the years and it was obvious that by the 1960’s upto the 80’s animals were the big draw. One posted bragged that they had 150 animals including Baboon’s, 20 lions, tigers, hippos, elephants and even polar bears. There was even rare video footage playing of the circuses with the animals. In France animals were being used right up until the year 2000.
      In the late 80’s the new draw became the daredevils. People that used crossbows, knife throwing and swords aswell as tightrope walkers and other high wire acts and of course the illusionists.
      It was a fascinating private collection and we were really impressed with how it was done and were glad we went. It broke the day up and we learnt lots.
      We got back to Wanda at 4:30pm and just before the rain started again. We put the TV on and continued with our breaking bad marathon and as we had electric we heated some water and run the electric heater.
      Once the water was hot I had a shower and it was great to have a hot shower in a hot room and then come back into the main living area that was toasty aswell. It didn’t take long for the bathroom to dry out today.
      For dinner we had what looked like a pizza folded in half and sealed at the edges topped off with cheese. It was a heavy going food that we had seen in several supermarkets and it actually looked better than it tasted. Then it was back to chilling out for the rest of the evening.
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    • Day23

      What a difference a day makes

      June 6, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      Being several hundred kilometres north helps...
      The poor weather continued this morning so after a lovely breakfast which even included a sprinkling of rose petals on the table the day started with the hood up on the car and both of us wearing rain coats inside the car. It wasn't hard rain like yesterday but it did have is moments and one of those was when we stopped at McDonald's for a coffee. It wasn't raining when we went in but the heavens opened just for five minutes as we drank our coffee which was enough to soak Mandy's seat and the Michelin map book she left on it.
      Once we got about 50km north of Limoges it became noticeably warmer and the sky began to clear so off came the jackets. We still didn't get it enough to put down the hood as we could see rain falling to our right.
      We are now at Issoudun in a budget hotel and have just had a nice meal at a nearby La Boucherie steak house which was recommended by an Englishman at the hotel who had admired the car. He works for an English company who upholsters aircraft seats for a nearby Boeing factory. He said he had upholstered an MGTA when he was an apprentice.
      Before the meal we had a walk down town to see the church which was closed and the river which flows well after all the rain. A beer at a sit outside bar gave us the sustenance to walk the 3000 steps according to my phone back to the hotel then a further 1500 to the steak house where we meet the Englishman and his colleague again.
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    Arrondissement d'Issoudun

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