europe,  france,  travel

The less-than-appetizingly-named city (Blois “blwah”) – Day 18


The weather was overcast when we wandered downstairs for breakfast, joining the rest of the B&Bers. We were seated on their lovely terrace behind the house, but I was rather suspect of the ominous- looking clouds. Not long after we’d finished our croissants and yoghurt, my suspicions were confirmed as the clouds opened up, letting out some torrential rain. We helped our hostess grab her cloth placemats before running inside. After woefully looking out at the rain for a time, we opted to postpone our plans for a bit and catch up on some internet and reading. The rain pounded down heavily for several hours. However, we were quite content to wait it out and enjoy the peace and quiet (traipsing around in the pouring rain is not my idea of a good time).

By lunchtime, the rain had reduced itself to a light drizzle, so we decided to venture out. We made our way to the nearby town of Blois. Amazingly, as we wound our way through and found a parking spot, the sun made its appearance. Fabulous timing! I wanted to try and take a look at the city from a distance, so we took a walk down in the general direction of the river, passing an impressively large cathedral on the way. The breeze along the Loire was refreshing, as we wandered over to the bridge for a few pictures. From there, we took a walk through the city to find a bit of lunch. Blois is a pretty town, reminding me a little bit of Paris for some reason. After a sandwich and quiche, D and I headed up to the tourism office to grab a map before heading over to the Chateau de Blois.

This particular chateau was a bit different than the others we’d been to, perhaps because was actually built within the city itself rather than being on an estate somewhere. The façade of the entrance was a handsome combination of brick and mortar. Apparently, the chateau was an amalgamation of several different architectural styles, reflecting its multitude of residents. Upon entry into the courtyard, we were greeted with a very impressive-looking spiral staircase. While much of the chateau had been turned into a museum, perhaps one of its most decorated and elaborate features was its walls, which were quite fancifully painted. There were several rooms, including the king’s bedchamber, the retained furniture dressing, but much of the interesting décor came from the walls themselves oddly enough. After making our way through the chateau, we headed back to the car to determine our game plan. Strangely, we were both feeling somewhat tired (methinks tiredness comes on more frequently towards the end of one’s trip), so we decided to forego wandering around the city some more and head back to the house.

So we napped and read and lounged, and eventually mustered up some energy to find dinner. In the lobby of our B&B, our hostess had provided sample menus from several restaurants in the area. Oddly enough, we both liked the menu from a restaurant at the nearby golf club. It was a short drive to the restaurant, and we were soon being escorted to our table on the terrace overlooking the green. As we had decided to get an early dinner (which in France means 7 pm), we had the place to ourselves. Despite my reservations about eating at a golf club, which seemed somehow weird to do in France, the food was excellent. We started off dinner with Kir aperitifs (mine with peach liqueur, and D’s with raspberry). D had a terrine of rabbit, and I had a tasty goat cheese mousse with tomatoes and artichoke hearts. For our main course, D sampled their lamb shank, and I had white fish in a velouté sauce. All in all, it was an excellent meal. We saw the tiniest little frog trying to make its way across the restaurant (it couldn’t have been bigger than my nail), that I safely transported back to the grass, so it wouldn’t get stepped on. I’d done my civic duty!

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