Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A typical day in La Loire - part one

Obviously, a typical day in the Loire involves châteaux. On Tuesday, we hit four of 'em.

We had a lovely breakfast at "our" château (which included some butter that I could have eaten straight up, with a spoon), then drove over to Azay-le-Rideau, which everyone had told us was the absolute gem of the Loire, so beautiful, so charming, the setting, the mirror effect, etc.

Maybe I was already jaded, one day in, but Azay-le-R, to me, had nothin' on Chenonceau. Or maybe it's just that your first château is always your best, and even after one day, Chenonceau had already acquired a golden haze of loveliness.

At any rate, the best thing about Azay to me was the name, which kept morphing in my head to Zazie-dans-le-Métro — a lovely film, to be sure, but not very Renaissance, perhaps. Of course, Azay is indeed lovely, but half of it was shut up for renos (which they neglected to mention at the ticket desk), and it just didn't have the pizzazz of Chenonceau. (However, it is on a charming little island, and having to cross over water to get to the front door just has such class.)

The weather, however, was absolument parfait — finally. A truly gorgeous spring day that didn't start off with morning haze or trickle off into afternoon gloom. Just bright blue skies, loads of sunshine, and a charming little French breeze filled with charming French birdsongs.

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