Monday, 30 April 2012

A walk around...the walls of Loches

Our favourite place in Southern Touraine here in the Loire Valley has to be the medieval town of Loches.    There are many reasons for this, its lively markets,its festivals, its restaurants but mainly for its charm in the actual fabric of the town itself. .It has managed to retain a great deal of its character while still embracing modern living.

                     This week we want to take you around this lovely town to show you what we mean.

When we have guests of our own we always take them here and also encourage our guests at our rental houses to visit. If it is a 'cultural' visit we normally start by parking under, or near, the impressive 'Porte Royale' where there are many spaces if you get there early enough.

  Today we are not taking you through the gate,we will save that for another day ...


                   but instead we are going to continue along 'Mall du Dunjon' by the walls of the town,

Then left around behind the dunjon walls itself

As you look up at the dunjon you are passing under its gardens 'Parc Bachet' and here you will find an opportunity to buy some real estate which would allow you to have a prestigious neighbour.

Continuing along 'Bvd,Philippe Auguste' takes you past the impressive St Ours church high up on your left...

then further down towards the busier end of the town with the royal lodgings dominating the skyline.

You will have to take a slight detour right to catch the impressive 'Porte Cordeliers'

Then you can make your way back to the centre of town or your car via the rambling streets of the old town.

Sunday, 29 April 2012

Church on Sunday...Chemille-sur Indrois

The church at Chemille-sur Indrois, located in the heart of the village, is dedicated to St.Vincent. Its oldest parts, the asp and chancel (choir), date from the 12th century.The bell tower was added in the 16th century.

One of the windows in the church is filled with fragments of 16th century stained glass panels.

In 1874 the nave was almost completely rebuilt and extended.

Where's Joan...

There are three bells within the bell-tower, one of which is apparently the oldest bell in Touraine dating from 1367. 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Animal magic...

Here's a few pictures held back from our visit to 'Haute Touche' - the pair above seemed surprisingly comfortable with each other.

Here's a cute real-life 'Basil Brush'

and what about this for a look?

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Up,up and away...

Driving from Barrou to Le Grand Pressigny a hint of colour on the hillside caught my eye. I used my camera zoom lens to identify exactly what is was - a hot-air balloon starting to take off, from what looked like the middle of nowhere.

As the light began to fade it started to make its accent ...

before drifting away in the distance.

Must experience this sometime...will have to save up first though!

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Bitter brocante...

On the Sunday of last weekend we visited the brocante at Azay-le-Ferron which would have been a pleasant experience but for the bitterly cold wind blowing  through the village (and the rest of Europe apparently).

My usual search for bizarre items lead me to these colour photographs of the Kennedy brothers...

this toy cocktail bar...

and this piper who was once filled with whisky - long since gone - which was made in Italy oddly enough -not the whisky but the piper, I actually regret not buying this now.

There was also these tree fellas...ready for action

It was a fairly typical Loire Valley brocante with everything but...oh no, there it is!

Think I know what those pans were used for as well...

                                                    View of the church (locked) and chateau,,,

Monday, 23 April 2012

A walk around...Haute -Touche

When Paul and Sally were with us last weekend we were looking for another walk with a bit of interest thrown in but not around a chateau.! We opted to revisit the 'Haute-Touche' safari park near Obterre just 30 minutes away just over the border into the department of Indre. The park markets itself as the 'largest zoo in France' covering an area of 500 ha (1,236 acres) so plenty of opportunities for walking. The start of the visit is a drive-through different species of deer in open enclosures  where you get up really close.

Once into the heart of the park you park-up and then have the option of hiring bikes 

Or take to the lanes on foot as we did.

It was interesting that some of the animals wanted to see who was viewing them but others deliberately  turned away as if they had enough of it, although you can see the young one is still inquisitive and turns its head.

A walk around the lake throws up a number of interesting subjects...

The lemurs were cute...

and we were able to compare them with the meerkats...

and the baby sanglier.

 It was a good walk, though a rather chilly one. We would recommend it for families either on foot or bicycle.The 9 euro entrance fee is good value for money and whatever your thoughts are on zoos some aspects of the way Haute Touche presents the animals.has to be lauded.