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With a little extra sleep and a homemade breakfast in our tummies, we headed out for an unhurried day of châteaux-ing. My plan was to spend an easy 39 km in our saddles, stopping wherever our wheels fancied. It took Superman a little time to adjust to this plan, as an American, he likes to set a goal, and go, go, go.

When I suggested we stop a mere 10 km into the ride in the charming village of Savonnières, he was less than enthusiastic. That’s when I decided that our motto of the day (the trip?) would be: “What would the French girls do?” Loire_Valley_biking_velo.jpg Savonnieres_loire_France.jpg Obviously we stopped…although not for a coffee, and looked around. And so the day unfolded with numerous stops and a slow meander through the stunning gardens of Villandry.

villandry_chateau_gardens_loire_france.jpg We meandered so slowly, that we almost missed lunch, which set Superman’s heart aflutter and resulted in a surprising stop at l’Etape Gourmande. From then, we were goners, and the day became all about lunch. l-etape_gourmande_restaurant_villandry_france_loire.jpg   l-etape_gourmande_restaurant_villandry_france_loire.jpg IMG_1613 l-etape_gourmande_restaurant_villandry_france_loire.jpg l-etape_gourmande_restaurant_villandry_france_loire.jpg l-etape_gourmande_restaurant_villandry_france_loire.jpg From lunch it was all downhill to Azay-le-Rideau, an attractive town with a handsome boutique hotel, but disappointingly, the château itself is under extensive renovation. azay-le-rideau_loire_a_velo_biking_France. jpg While it looked like this on our first visit years ago: Azay-le-rideau_château_douves It looks like this today, and will, until 2017. l-etape_gourmande_restaurant_azay-le-rideau_france_loire.jpg My advice: Château de l’Islette, A-l-R’s little sister, and just 3 km away… Chateau-de-l-Islette-8 We ended our day with a final 20 km ride and picnic on the riverbank of a picturesque hamlet called Bréhémont. loire_a_velo_biking_France_ brehemont.jpg

18 Comments Post a comment
  1. Words fail me right now… Wow! and, I want to go. :o)
    Oh, and yum!

    June 24, 2015
    • Yum, indeed. That lunch was to die for… getting ready for stage 4 of the Tour de la Loire…thanks for following along.

      June 24, 2015
  2. Rachel #

    Thanks for blogging after your long day – allows us couch potatoes to live it vicariously. Take care as the temperature rises over the next few days

    June 24, 2015
  3. Sarah Larson #

    Delicious food, gorgeous gardens, beautiful chateaux, and good friends…what more could a person want? Sounds wonderful, Nancy!

    June 24, 2015
  4. Melinda Lusmore #

    What a perfect day! I do love Villandry – it is interesting on the inside and has gorgeous gardens! A bit disappointing Azay-le-Rideau but I’m glad you found a good alternative 🙂

    And a good lunch makes up for a lot of things!

    June 25, 2015
  5. Bravo! We recently did a chateaux-hop visit to the Loire – quelle spendeur!

    June 25, 2015
  6. ROL #

    Bien bien !!! du vrai tourisme à la française ….. j’aurais bien partagé ce déjeuner qui me semble si délicieux ! A plus tard …

    June 25, 2015
    • Il a été un déjeuner fantastique … mais you are going to have to roll me out of France, et pas sur un vélo! Fruit and tea tomorrow!!!

      June 25, 2015
  7. Caroline #

    Beautiful Nancy! You are inspiring me to get out there and visit that part of France.

    June 25, 2015
    • Oh, my goodness, we stopped at the château that inspired Sleeping Beauty’s castle today. You have to bring your daughter (I know she’s 11, but…) Was a great, corny, very French tour, but well worth the €14.

      June 25, 2015
  8. As I was reading this Mrs Sixwheeler was busy cooking my supper; I showed her the pictures and she said “I’m afraid yours isn’t going to be like that my Lovely”. It looks like a wonderful meal but if you carry on lunching like that you’ll go home the size of a barrage balloon! Mine will be good too (in case Mrs S sees this!).

    June 25, 2015
    • I’m very sure Mrs. Sixwheeler is a fantastic cook. Meanwhile, yes! Even with biking between 45-80 km per day I feel like I’ve gained 3 kilos. So not fair. Tomorrow it’s just fresh apricots and berries, and a handful of almonds…that’s before the gastronomic meal I have us booked into at Fontevrraud-l’Abbaye…I’m gonna have to buy new clothes by the end of the trip!

      June 25, 2015
      • A group of us used to go trekking in the Alps each September yet every year I managed to put on weight. Don’t fight it, relax and enjoy it.

        June 25, 2015

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