Cycling the Loire Valley – Chaumont and Amboise   Leave a comment

[This is part 5 of my story of my first bicycle tour in France. Click here to see the previous post]

Our Camp in Orleans

This May day was the start of the prime reason we had come to cycle in France – to see the famed Chateaus of the Loire Valley. There are many monumental building through this valley and our goal was to visit two or three each day as we cycled 80 to 100 Km.

Bridge Across the Loire

From our campsite in Orleans, we packed up our tents, loaded our panniers and hit the road. There is a main highway that runs along the North side of the Loire River but we chose to cycle the smaller, quieter roads on  the south side for the most part. while most of the sites were on the Loire  itself we did visit one chateau on the Cher, a tributary of the Loire.

The first stop was a couple of hours ride from Orleans at Chaumont-sur-Loire, with it’s cylindrical fairy-tale turrets.

Chaumont-sur-Loire

As we were to discover, the attraction of the chateau is not only their magnificent architecture, and inspiring  gardens but most allow visitor to see the interiors with historical artifacts.

Window from the interior of Chaumont

Back on the bikes and another hour or a so down the valley, we turned a corner to see an imposing structure:

First view of Chateau d'Amboise

We toured the inside of this the Chateau d’Amboise, which interestingly enough is the site of the tomb of Leonardo de Vinci.

Inside the Chateau d'Amboise

There was a great view of the town of Amboise and surrounding countryside from the top of this chateau.

View from Chateau d'Amboise

We camped this night right in Amboise  at a campground right on the Loire river. It was the most amazing setting I have ever camped in. Our tents were set up facing the magnificent castle which was lit up at night. Although not a great photo, this one shows what I saw as I laid in my sleeping bag to go to sleep.

Chateau d'Amboise - View from the Tent

The view not withstanding (and the inability to keep my eyes open while sleeping), sleep was needed because we’d had one good day of cycling and there would be more road to ride and more chateau to visit the next morning.

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