Friday, September 18, 2009


We’ve had a busy week. Monday and Tuesday were spent in the medieval town of Chinon. I’d have loved to explore the town more, it’s very beautiful and - old. As we travelled towards the town by train we could tell there was a change of mentality. We were on a little train just behind the driver’s cabin. Every station we stopped at he shook hands and exchanged words with the guard. We went through Azay-le-Rideau which is famous for its chateau but I didn’t see it. The country side is different to here and the houses have taller roofs with slate tiles instead of terracotta. Almost like another country.

We knew that the auction house being out of town would be a problem. So on Monday afternoon after finding our Hotel, we set out to walk there. 3.5 kilometres along a busy main road . I’d changed my handbag so I didn’t have any sugar cubes with me so I started to panic a bit when I felt the familiar dryness and tingling in my mouth which indicates my blood sugar is low. Fortunately there was a café so we had an orange juice, it helped a lot. There was also a bus stop opposite to the auction house but the bad news was there was only one bus a day there and one bus back. We decided that the bus would be a better idea for the next day. If we bought postcards and had to carry them several kilometres in the pouring rainwhich had been forecast, they would certainly be ruined. We walked back via the troglodyte caves, now empty and blocked up.

A lot of businesses are closed on Mondays in France, so our evening adventure was to find something to eat. As it happens we stumbled on an excellent restaurant which wasn’t too expensive. It was just warm enough to sit out side and eat. We could tell from the voices around us that Chinon is very popular with Americans – in fact it reminds me of Broadway (England)

On Tuesday we caught the bus and killed an hour at the café. The postcards we looked at were as good as we expected them to be. There were quite a few people viewing but as coins and stamps were being auctioned too I didn’t worry too much.

Lunch at the café was completely opposite to the restaurant the night before. The workers start arriving at twelve and the service is swift and well organised. The food was quite good for the price and everyone was very friendly. I wonder what they thought of this strange English couple venturing out of the touristy limits of the town.

I really enjoy auctions. Rob does the bidding and I keep the score. We came away with almost everything we wanted, even a postcard of a troglodyte dweller!

The journey home was long and very tiring, we changed trains twice and had a taxi home from La Rochelle. We managed to miss the rain.

Next time we might just go to the viewing in Tours. The expert has a shop there which I really want to visit

Olivier is home for the weekend. Doesn’t seem to be showing signs of malnutrition or alcohol poisoning yet. His main moan seems to be the cold showers – perhaps they will be good for his character.

Dom and her boyfriend, J-M, will be coming home next weekend for my birthday.


Dru Marland said...

I like the description of the hand-shaking. I was very fond of the civilities exchanged among the crew of Condor 10 in St Malo; extended bouts of kissing and hand-shaking bright and early every morning, when we arrived to prepare for the day's voyaging. So different to the english crews I've worked with...

Were the portions big in the Gargantua?

kastz said...

Like the blog hows it goin?

Anji said...

Dru: it took me a while but I'm quite at ease with all of the kissing now. The portions were quite small at the gargantua, but we left feeling full. I think it's to do with the wait between courses.


Anne Lyken-Garner said...

Sounds lovely. My in-laws have just bought a barn in Southern France. It always takes getting used to the customs every time we visit.

Having said that, though, England is becoming more and more like the rest of Europe.

cassie-b said...

The restaurant looks absolutely charming. And it's so nice you had good weather.

Congratulations on a successful trip.
And enjoy your weekend.

Anji said...

Anne: Now I have problems with the customs when I visit the U.K.!

Cas: Thanks. we are rather pleased with the result.