We arrived in Saumur in the late afternoon, the sun was still hot and we found a bar in the square where we sat and drank the light flinty wine of the region. I can’t believe that I am finally visiting the Loire, years ago I studied wines and went to the Burgundy region and also to Bordeaux and of course, the Loire has the added advantage of it’s beautiful chateaux along the river banks. After we had settled into a hotel which turned out to be a really fantastic find, we wandered up through the narrow streets and climbed to the top of town to visit the fairy tale chateau here in Saumur. We declined the invite to dine the hotel St Pierre, where we were staying, the prices a little out of our range and instead went into the town and found another charming place where Lynn had lamb and I had the duck, washed down with the wine of the region. We finished our meal with another glass of Armagnac. What a trip we have had. The food, the people and the amazing scenery. Back at the hotel we wallowed in the luxury of our beautiful elegant room once again counting our blessings. The next morning we dined on the best breakfast, warm creeps, mixed berries, pot of apricot compote, the lightest croissants, pain au chocolate and delicious coffee.
We hit the road and decided to take the auto route to gain ground, stuffing 10 euros into the toll machine, we made good time and turned off towards Caen. Bugger how did we end up in the town centre again. These roads are great but the signs are poor and you have to keep your wits about you. We finally got on the ‘perifique’ and circumnavigated the town before we peeled off to Ouistream and the ferry port. Lanky suggested we get in touch with the Brittany Ferries and see if we could get an earlier ferry. Good thinking, we were in the car park outside the terminal and were told a ferry was leaving in half. And hour. We changed our reservation and before we knew we were on the ferry and on our way home. The sea was flat calm and as we left France behind I sipped a cold Rose wine whilst my leggy friend swallowed on a large gin and tonic. We looked back and toasted each other. We have had a fabulous time. The journey, the people, the food, the accommodation, the laughter.
‘How about crossing the French Alps and motoring down through Italy next time?’ I asked Lynn. And so our next adventure was being dreamt up but for now we have to go home and knuckle under.