Saturday, May 24, 2014

Gardens

Le Logis de Jerzual, our b&b has a tiered English garden with flowing water and moss covered rock walls. Every morning, fresh croissants and bread  are delivered fresh, and we enjoyed these while visiting with a couple from Perth.  We laugh at their Alice in Wonderland story of her finding the b&b by locating and attempting to enter what appeared to be a tiny gated entrance, that actually was the cat door.  He tells us about credit cards in France and their anxiety in tring to find a gas station on a sunday.  Apparently without a chip on your credit card, you cannot use auto pay machines. This can be a problem if stores are not open on sunday. Before leaving Diman, we drive up to the tall bridge overlooking the river valley and admire the view, the fortress walls high above, the steep forested cliff walls, the old town and meandering river below.

The rest of the day is spent driving the very lush flat countryside to the Loire Valley, and consuming Breton pastries we had purchased in town.  The Loire Valley is an important agricultural area and home to more than a thousand castles. The area is vast and getting from west to east takes a long time, therefore it is wise to visit chateaus on one side then cross over to the other..

By late afternoon, we arrive at the castle Villandry, finished in 1536 was the last great Rennaissance chateau built on the Loire.  It has 10 acres of the most beautiful gardens in the area including 85,000 plants. There is no way to describe them, so vast and so manicured! The vegetable gardens are comprised of boxed hedges filled with color, the sculptured hedges in heart, diamond and other shapes.  See the photos to see for yourself how magnificent they are. 

We find our studio apt, across the street from a large castle's walls. The proprietor is a bit stuffy,not  too pleased we were there after 7 pm. The main b&b is next door but we are not permitted into the gated complex. No wifi in the apt. and we are forced to go to McDonalds for internet.  We select,a restaurant, Le Bistro at the mention of the owner of the apt, who said we wouldn't be able to get in, but secure an outside table and dine on escargots and duck breast (magret de canard)cooked in a cognac cream sauce; it is delicious.  


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