A simple title – I’ll get to her later.
At our Amboise accomodation we did have a lovely breakfast and our hosts son turned up very bright, chatty and curious about our trip. He tried so very very hard to do everything right for our petite dejeuner and I could not help but to like the guy.
He told me his mothers is ‘as old as the Queen of England’, that she is in hospital just having had a hip replacement. When she was younger she was a mountaineer and climbed the Eiger! He asked us to come back next year and stay so we could meet her.
Leaving Amboise we headed to the bike path adjacent to the river, and found these giraffe? Last look back to the monk cut out and town.
The river was quiet and serene.
A winery using a bike to advertise.
As we headed up a small hill we had wheat growing on one side and grapes on the other. We have seen so many wheat fields and this does not surprise given how much bread is consumed. When you sit outside the boulangeries people are walking out with 3-4 baguettes each.
A lovely shady road.
In Switzerland water fountains are potable. They pride themselves on that. I’m France they are not. Pity as they are often placed in villages when we are thirsty.
We had a big city to navigate today. Tours Cathedral can be seen in the far distance.
More cliff s with various activities and caves.
I am not a fan of cycling in busy cities. I have ridden through London, Paris, Rome, Barcelona to name a few and today we shuffled through Tours. You need eyes in the back of your head.
We pulled over when we our route took us straight past the Cathedral. I did go inside, but the photos are not great. It was quite dark but did have the typical gothic high vaulting and beautiful rose lead light.
We also rode past a bike store. Tony had a flat tire yesterday courtesy of a thin slate like needle, so we took the opportunity to pick up a replacement. He has his full compliment of three again. While I waited, I noted just how dusty our bikes are.
Poppies are widely grown and here are a few stray amongst the wheat.
The heavily trimmed trees have started to shoot.
We deviated from our route to head into the village of Villandry where we found a boulangerie. A few other cyclists were there. We also found a foot air pump. Tony thought his rear tyre could do with some more air. However, it was not working properly and he ended up with no air in his tube. Out came the hand pump.
They have a baguette machine. One euro for a baguette.
Back on the road after lunch and another bike being used to advertise.
Cute village by the river.
The village had a large bike shop offering a wide variety of bikes to hire including this e-bike.
We passed through many little villages all with their own churches.
This park had an electric bike charging station.
At the top of a climb Tony photographed this curio. Not sure what it is.
In the distance we can see our destination Fontvraud Abbey. I have wanted to visit here for a long time. For me, this is a special place.
Eleanor of Aquitaine lived her final few years here and was buried alongside her husband, King Henry II of England, her son King Richard ( the Lionheart) and other family members.
The Plantagenets had been strong financial supporters of the Abbey and its establishment.
Eleanor is a heroine of mine. She was a woman ahead of her time. strong willed, intelligent and articulate. She had been Queen of France before marrying Henry Plantagenet, who through his mother Matilda, became King of England.
Eleanor is also my 24 x great grandmother. If you have an Anglo Saxon heritage, it is likely she is yours too. Maths and probability are in your favour here. I have traced my heritage to her via around 8 lines currently.
Our accomodation is inside the Abbey grounds. We are able to wander around until 2 am!! The public left at 7 pm. We wandered when the public were here, but they were milling around Eleanor. I wanted her to myself.
We came back after dinner and had the cathedral to ourselves. It is quite surreal to be walking through such a large structure all alone.
Whilst Eleanor and others were buried in the Abbey, during the French Revolution their mortal remains were interfered with and scattered. However, her soul rests here, and I am sure her bones would not be too far away. This is where she wanted to be. I wanted to be here to get a tiny morsel of her in my soul. 💕😉
Below are a variety of photos from the Abbey.
Post the French Revolution, Napoleon ordered that the Cathedral be turned into a three floored prison! It remained as such until around 1960. It is this fact that has probably ensured the buildings survival. The prison damage has since been removed and rehabilitated.
It is very late for me. Nearly 10.30 pm as I’m trying to get the blog done before bed. We have a bigger day tomorrow. Our last full day following the Loire as we head to the west coast of France.
Thanks for reading. Smile on and Ooroo 😊