France
Arrondissement de Blois

Here you’ll find travel reports about Arrondissement de Blois. Discover travel destinations in France of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

47 travelers at this place:

  • Day929

    St Georges-sur-Cher

    January 11 in France ⋅ ⛅ 3 °C

    The electric heater is humming away happily and our living area is snug and warm. The medium sized, compacted yellow gravel aire at St Georges-sur-Cher provides free electricity, so the leisure batteries are getting a good charge, together with the rest of our electricals. We look out onto an open area of grey gravel and grass where cars park during the day. To our right, the main road is backed by a plantation of skinny poplars and far enough away not to bother us. Close by is the boulangerie, its red sign for 'pain' lighting up at night. An archway, whose christmas decorations are still illuminated, gives access to shop frontages in a small square with a limestone brick church. A fleuriste, boucherie / charcuterie and little supermarket; nothing remarkable, but it feels open and welcoming. One thing we especially love is the token system for the service point. An information board advises that 'jetons' for fresh water are available for free in the shops. It is a great way to foster a good relationship between business owners and the town's temporary residents.

    The day we arrived we had set off promptly in order to try and get Will a fishing licence. The system seems very complicated, with no national permit, but ones obtained from fishing clubs. Regional lines restrict the reach of permits from all clubs, but many have agreements with other regions, allowing licence holders to fish their waters. Will found a club that had agreements with every region but the next hurdle was the online application form. This was so tortuous that following many failed attempts he decided to visit somewhere he could buy it in person, thus the prompt start to the day. The skies were grey and showering Martha with rain. Perfect for travelling, as we didn't feel we were missing out on anything! On the way we saw several gilets jaunes encampments at roundabouts but they caused no trouble.

    The sat nav first took us to a residential street in Tours, which after 15 minutes of searching on foot, we concluded was not concealing anywhere that might sell fishing licenses. Following directions from Google Maps, we drove 4 kilometres accross town, parked and walked half a kilometre to find a somewhere that could feasibly, in the past have sold permits, but was now, most definitely, offices for a graphic design company- grrr! Back on the road and after parking up at St Georges, much persistence and €96, Will finally managed to purchase a fishing permit that would allow him to pursue his pastime throughout France for the coming year. All we've got to do now is find somewhere to print it out! It wouldn't have been worth the time, cost and effort if we were here for a matter of weeks, but we'll potentially be spending a lot of time in the country over the coming months, waiting for and travelling back to medical appointments in the UK.

    We decided to stay longer than usual St Georges-sur-Cher, mainly because of the electric hookup. Will had found a restaurant with good reviews but sadly Vicky's energy levels were very low, so we didn't make it. She stayed in the van while Will explored the town and made use of his new fishing permit and the fishing trousers, stool and bait catapault he got for xmas. On Sunday morning the car park filled up and people made their way through the arch with round, woven grass baskets and bags - it was a Sunday market!

    We joined the flow of people and saw a dozen or so stalls selling oysters and other seafood, veg and plants, roasting chickens, Chinese street food and honey. Vicky didn't make it round but was able to sit on a bench and watch the comings and goings while Will queued at the busy stands and picked up some produce we liked the look of, including a white petalled kalanchoe from the florists to cheer her up. There were a few people going into the little church and as we passed the open door we saw them huddled around a large candle at the end of the aisle, crystal chandeliers shedding their soft golden glow on the chestnut coloured wooden pews, while daylight shone in through the stained glass window, picking out its indigos and blues.

    Knowing the boulanger would be closed the following day we went in to pick up a loaf and decided to get one of the delcious looking (if a little expensive) puff pastry tarts that had filled shelves in several towns we'd visited. When cutting it open we found a ceramic tile inside. Puzzled and curious, Will took it back to the baker to ask what it was. The baker explained it was a traditional 'fève' (a bean). The tile had a moral inscribed on it which translated as "doing well is better than saying well"; actions speak louder than words. With a little research we discovered the tart was a Galette de Roi (King's Cake), eaten from epiphany / the 12th night onwards. The person who finds the fève becomes king or queen for the day, with special privilages. Will even got to wear a paper crown supplied with the galette. We love discovering new things and learning while travelling!

    Out of a maximum allowed stay of 7 nights, at Saint Georges-sur-Cher we stopped a total of 4. We'd begun getting itchy feet after 2 but it was good to just spend time relaxing and 'Being' in a place, instead of just passing through (especially as it came with free electricity!)
    Read more

  • Day28

    Chateau Central!

    October 2, 2017 in France ⋅

    We had every intention of riding to one of the best chateaus in La Loire (according to Rick Steves), then Mother Nature got in the way. We got lucky to get 2 seats in a tour van going to three chateaus. Two more than we were planning to visit, but a better option than being out in miserable weather.

    The tour got us discount entry fees and head of the line. LOTS of people want to see chateaus 🎎🎎🎎.

    Each one different but all had incredible stone work, thickness of the walls, tapestries (needed to keep these places warm somehow), classic furniture, artwork and portraits, copper pot collections in the kitchens, huge firelogs, four poster beds...in every one.

    Chambord is the great grand-daddy of them all. Largest wall enclosed park in Europe (13450 ac) still with wild boar and deer. Awesome architecture laid out in shape of a Greek cross and a double-helix staircase in the middle. Six times the size of the average Loire chateau.

    Chenonceau...most visited chateau. Impeccable gardens, amazing treed entry, fancy furniture. Housed the mistress of Henry II until he died and his wife kicked her out. Oh the drama 😮. The wife and the mistress each have their own garden. It was used as a military hospital in WWI.

    Cheverny...a more manageable scale and the owners still live on the top floor. Been in the same family for 600 years. Where the Mona Lisa and other Louvre art was hidden from the Nazis during WWII. The owner still hunts on the huge property and keeps 90+ hounds to do this. Lego creations throughout. Not sure where they came from but quite cool.

    Topped the day off with a fancy dinner at a private chateau around the corner...Chateau de Pray. Every dish exquisite. Ended up being an epic meal (3-1/2 hrs...no hurrying you out of this place!). Healthy price tag ...but it evens out by the minute 😄.
    Read more

  • Day28

    Amboise to Blois. 44 km.

    October 2, 2017 in France ⋅

    If the worse we get from the rain is seeing more chateaus than planned... that works for us 👌. No rain today until just checking into our place in Blois...perfect timing (if you have to have rain at all 🙄). And the wind (15 - 20 km/hr) at our backs all day 🌬️...gotta love it!

    The hills out of town first thing gets the blood pumping. Might as well work off that croissant right off the bat. Then a nice ride up on the terrace. Fun checking out the burbs.

    Great variety and good paths all day today...huge corn fields, huge vineyards, farming towns, paths along the river, some thru the forest.

    Lunch beside the Loire...below Chaumont-Sur-Loire. Church bells ringing, chateau up behind (UNESCO site but we're chateau-ed out), sun comes out 😊.

    We checked that we had the plastic bottle for the rest of the wine. Yup...good. But a bit later....oops...no need of it. It was a perfect lunch spot 🙄. Nothing a short nap can't take care of 😁.

    Blois is another neat town...chateau right in the middle of things, pedestrian streets , squares.

    While things are going so well for us, at the same time, our hearts go out to those affected by the terrible attacks in Edmonton, Vegas, Marseilles.
    Read more

  • Day20

    Chambord - chateau of all chateaus

    August 19, 2016 in France ⋅

    Known as THE chateau but probably because it's so flipping enormous! It has 2 intertwining staircases that spiral up the centre of the keep which apparently might have been designed by Leo da Vinci (although no one knows that). The chateau grounds are vast and cover an area of forest around the size of Paris! Crazy! Also interestingly they slept in really short beds back then. Have humans grown a lot in the last few hundred years?!

    Highlight of the day, however, was the free biscuit tasting at the in-house Biscuiterie. Here, we managed to consume a decent breakfast (starting conspicuously, gradually gaining confidence once we realised no one was watching how many you took) and naturally went back for seconds a few hours later.

    Attached is a photo of how to make eating the same food for many consequtive days actually look quite appealing!
    Read more

  • Day19

    En route to Chambord via Blois

    August 18, 2016 in France ⋅

    Not a particularly eventful day, the sun didnt shine so we didnt take many photos! A french man insisted on photographing us by a random bridge as a 'souvenir' and we had an unplanned but DELICIOUS supper of snails, fish, duck, cream brulee (obvs) and a cheese board of Olly's dreams.

  • Day426

    Day 427: Chateaus of the Loire Valley

    April 17, 2018 in France ⋅

    Gorgeous weather today, time to explore the Loire Valley world heritage site! Basically, there's a 200km stretch of the Loire (France's longest river) that's lined with immense chateaux, vineyards, old towns and other beautiful buildings. It's an incredibly "French" part of the country, and we were both looking forward to the day.

    First stop was Castle Chambord, the largest of the chateaus and the one that started the trend. It was built in the early 16th century by King Francis I, and is situated in some immense grounds as well. It's got a fantastic look to it, with turrets, a keep, bastions and even a moat - but it's all for show, the walls aren't thick and would never stand up to an assault. But it's an interesting halfway point between medieval castles and Renaissance palaces.

    Next we drove downriver (via the town of Blois and its Feuilette branch!), to another chateau known as Chenonceau. This is probably the most famous, and was actually only recently added to the WH list as a boundary modification to the existing site. It's famous as a small chateau that is extended out over the Cher river, a tributary of the Loire. We opted for the tour here (we'd skipped the Chambord one), and were glad of it.

    You couldn't see anything from the carpark anyway! But we spent a couple of hours wandering around here, very impressed with everything. It was home to Catherine de Medici when she was Queen Regent of France, and ruled the country from the study inside the chateau. The gardens were also great as well, as the flowers were blooming and the grass was very green. It was very crowded though, and we were both fearful of what it must be like in summertime.

    We ended up taking quite a bit longer here than expected, so in the end we decided to call it a day. I've got footage (though no talking) for a couple of other chateau buildings in the area, so plenty of material for the video.

    All in all, a great day!
    Read more

  • Day7

    Chambord

    June 19, 2018 in France ⋅ ☁️ 68 °F

    We stopped for breakfast on our way out of town at the Bigot patisserie. This is on the corner of where we ate dinner the previous two nights. Abbie had been eyeing this place since we arrived and told me at dinner last night that we were going to destroy this place in the morning; and we did try.
    I had this incredible ham and onion omelette... and water. The omelette was very tasty. I miss ice and sweet tea.
    Afterwards, we had some decisions to make. We had plenty of options. I was good and bought one chocolate macaroon for later. Abbie's willpower was not so great. But hey, you have to take advantage before you get back to the land of Hershey's milk chocolate. I took pictures of the chocolate and bread displays but since this app charges for me to add only 6 pics per post, you will have to take my word for it.
    Next stop, the chateau at Chambord. We followed the Loire river NW. The river was high and moving swiftly. I've never seen it before, but it looked like it was higher than normal.
    The size of Chambord dwarfs the other three Chateaus that we saw. Construction began in 1519, the year Da Vinci died. Da Vinci designed the double-helix staircase that is at the center of this place.
    Apparently, this is an engineering feat. There are two entrances opposite each other with no post down the middle. If one were to enter each side and start climbing, they would never meet. They would see each other however in the cutouts of the wall if they kept equal pace.
    It had another kitchen with a fireplace bigger than any closet I've ever had.
    And the salamander king, Francois, has his emblem and initials all over this place, including the ceiling.
    I've also noticed that each chateaux has a chapel. This one is different because it has fabric in the walls and ceiling as opposed to decorative stone.
    And of course they loved their gardens.
    I tend to like the outside of these buildings better and this one is no exception. The roof line, glass, and spires at Chambord were impressive.
    Read more

  • Day10

    Cheverny and Chaumont

    July 27, 2016 in France ⋅

    We saw two very different chateaux today. Cheverny reminded us of Downton Abbey complete with a large group of hound dogs ready to go hunting. Chaumont was like a Disneyland castle with a drawbridge and winding staircases. Both had gorgeous gardens.

  • Day19

    Mosnes to Saint-Laurent Nouan

    June 16, 2017 in France ⋅

    The morning started with a10km pre-breakfast ride. Breakfast was a much-relished picnic beside the Loire - spotted a small hawk or falcon hovering for prey while being dive bombed by swallows. Another 20km brought us to the beautiful Blois with its grey on grey decor, very light grey stone capped with very dark grey slate. Having very fortuitously run across an excellent Award winning bakery (morning tea -choc Eclair and great croissant - best yet!), we grabbed a coffee and proceeded through the old town to the chateau for lunch in the grounds (baguette & quiche Lorraine from said award winning bakery).
    Have I mentioned that this is a non-stop foodie tour?
    We have not toured through any of the chateaux as we did this some years ago. Orleans will be our first new territory.
    Our hotel is a bit away from the main cycle route, and after we crossed the river at Muides we struggled along a very poor section of track (poor, he says? - understatement! It was single track) (as you know she tends to exaggerate) until we could bail out onto the fairly busy road for the last few km.
    62km, 350m climbing.
    Total about 420km.
    Read more

  • Day2

    Chaumnt sur Loire

    July 21, 2018 in France ⋅ ⛅ 24 °C

    Lots of fun but a lot of walking. Great gardens, very playful and we found a green leaf bug who was then christened Steve! Not sure why! Dinner now before an hour or so drive in the direction of Bordeaux

You might also know this place by the following names:

Arrondissement de Blois

Join us:

FindPenguins for iOS FindPenguins for Android

Sign up now