France 2012 - Facts and Information

Day by Day 1: Perusson

A week based near Loches with the intention of visiting Loire châteaux

To the Loire Valley
Loches
Cormery
Vienne to Indre
Azay-le-Rideau
Troglodytes
Ch de Chambord
Ch de Cheverny
Around Cheverny
Saint Savin
Antigny & Jouhet
Anglin & Claise
Ch de Chenonceau
Cher Valley
St-Aignan
Beaulieu-lès-Loches
East of Loches 1
East of Loches 2
Uzerche
Conques
Bozouls
Viellevie
St-Santin/Montmurat
Capdenac
Peyrusse/Belcastel
Montsalvy
Entraygues
Truyère Valley
W of Aurillac 1
W of Aurillac 2
W of Aurillac 3
Girgols & St-Cernin
W of St-Cernin
Salers & Puy Mary
Cassaniouze
Lot Valley 1
Lot Valley 2
Bredons
Blesle
Brioude
Puy-en-Velay 1
Puy-en-Velay 2
Polignac
Around Lapte
Chamalières
Around Vorey
Péreyres
Pont-de-Fromentières
Montfaucon
Lalouvesc & Bozas
Boucieu & Désaignes
N of the Loire 1
Montarcher
N of the Loire 2
N of the Loire 3
S of Yssingeaux 1
St-Pierre-Eynac
S of Yssingeaux 2
Heading home
September 1
Off boat at St Malo, rudimentary immigration (stopped and talked to first car in queue) then headed south on good, well-signed roads. Stopped at Candes-St-Martin, pleasant village with splendid collegiate church. Next to Fontevraud with somewhat over-restored splendid abbey now insensitively used as a cultural centre. Then to Tavant with its interesting Romanesque church before heading to Poiré to find our home for the next week.

September 2
Short drive into Loches and found large free car park just past railway station convenient for Tourist Office. Walked up into the old town to visit Logis Royale, then the impressive castle and church. Later drove the back road along the Indre to Cormery with an interesting old church but more particularly ruins of a large abbey scattered through the village. Back via Courçay.

September 3
Brief stop at Bossée to buy bread then to St Épain, long history from Gallo-Roman times and former medieval walled town with interesting gate and church. Next to Crissay-sur-Manse, pleasant little village with impressive church which was tired on the inside. Pleasant old houses. Excellent cheap honey from house opposite church. Looked in at basket weaving centre at Villaines-les-Roches. Then to Azay-le-Rideau, pleasant town with nice C12th church and impressive C16th château on island in river. Next drove along Indre valley to la Vallée Troglodytique des Goupillieres, fascinating site with reconstructed cave dwellings of peasants who arrived in the area in medieval times. Lovely evening now and drive through osier fields to Saché, pleasant little village with nice church. Looked at château from outside then headed for home.

September 4
Beautiful day. Longish but fast, easy drive to Château de Chambord. Large, busy car park (loos charge, free in château) and fair walk to stunning building with its moat. Impressive from outside with incredible ornamentation and detail but internally rooms rather bare. Next to Château de Cheverny, smaller and more intimate with interestingly furnished rooms. In Cheverny village the church was worth a visit. Stunning evening and stopped briefly in pleasant village of Fougères-sur-Bièvre to look at church and C15th château (from outside).

September 5
Fast drive though Chatillon-sur-Indre to Saint-Savin-sur-Gartempe, scruffy centre but incredible C11th abbey with amazing frescoes. This is very much Frescoland so next to Antigny church with excellent C14th frescos then on to Jouhet with more excellent frescoes in funerary chapel (key from restaurant). Retraced our steps heading north to Angles-sur-l'Anglin on a very hot afternoon, castle closed but climb into old town rewarding, especially exhibition on drawn thread work in Tourist Office. Finally to Preuilly-sur-Claise with splendid C11th abbey church.

September 6
Fast, early drive to Château de Chenonceau to be first in queue (managed to be first too!) as site gets very busy. Large and impressive with pleasant gardens. On to Montrichard which has kept much of its medieval street patterns and has some interesting old buildings. Its Église St Croix needs TLC internally, Chapelle de Notre Dame de Mont Carmel was more interesting with an interior unexpected after its plain facade. Quick stop to see Tassica Gallo-Roman Site from the outside (from where you can see most of it) on a very hot afternoon. Next to Chémery, small and neat village with C13th-C16th château we looked at from outside. Finally to St-Aignan where we parked by river for longish walk to lovely old town centre on hill with excellent C11th collegiate church. C11th-16th Château not open to public but you can climb steps to see it from outside.

September 7
Fantastic morning for short drive to Beaulieu-lès-Loches to follow town trail.  Église Saint-Laurent (C11th-C16th) has survived virtually intact as a building but is a shell inside and was worth a visit, especially for frescoes. Little remains of the once extensive abbey but part has been incorporated into current church. Quick look at pretty little village of Chédigny with its flowers. Next to La Corroirie du Liget, amazing moated farmhouse with medieval fortified gateway and remains of C11th church plus two watermills (€3 honesty box - well worth it). On to Montrésor, impressive medieval town dominated by château, C16th collegiate church impressive. In afternoon to Palluau-sur-Indre (park at foot of Rue du Hâ Hâ in green area and walk up to old part). Old centre interesting, Église Saint-Sulpice though plain outside has good interior with nice woodwork and statues. Too late to visit dominating château which is being restored but went to ticket office (manned by two English ladies) to buy very welcome ice cream.

September 8
Left the Loire Valley to head south to Cantal on a glorious day. Stopped in Uzerche on a very hot morning when we found parking then headed up to the old town. Very impressive with marvellous C11th abbey. Then on to Aurillac to check out supermarket (Intermarché was the one we used as it was most convenient, not impressive but a marvellous selection of local cheese - which is excellent by the way). Then to our next cottage in a quiet spot in very pleasant farmland with cow bells ringing.

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