We thought we’d seen the château at Azay-le-Rideau more years ago than we care to remember. I suppose I should have said more years ago than we could remember since, when we actually got to Azay-le-Rideau this morning, the château that we had seen way back then was clearly not Azay-le-Rideau. I told you there’s a château around nearly every corner, here. I wonder where that one about 20 years ago was?
Azay-le-Rideau lies on the river Indre. Like the Cher, the Indre is another tributary of the Loire. The three rivers flow together just west of Tours. Whilst the rivers themselves are reasonably attractive, it’s the châteaux scattered liberally between these three rivers that do most to make this area interesting.
We reverted to cheapskate mode, avoided the entrance fee and peered at the chateau through the gate. It looked as though we’d just have got a lot of converging verticals anyway. It looked as there were no interesting outside photographic subjects to play with – no more fancy gardens as with Villandry.
We returned for an experimental lunch. Yesterday, having finally found a supermarket in a suburb of Tours after a painstaking search, we couldn’t resist buying some burger patties made from 100% viande de lapin (rabbit meat). Here was a potentially untold source of riches that McDonalds has yet to exploit – McBunny burger! How could we resist? We’d decided to accompany it with our aristocratic broad beans from the splendid gardens of the château de Villandry. McBunny and McBeans – what a feast! Presumably the bread is rabbit shaped because it’s made from doe. 🙂
We had intended to visit Amboise in the afternoon and try to find the Leonardo da Vinci museum there. Ultimately, we couldn’t face the journey and preferred another more relaxing pedal along the Loire cycle track. Our notional target was a 16th century water mill. We made it, of course, after all our intense training but it was relatively dull, as was the weather, so we just pedalled a little further before returning in some gentle rain.
Tomorrow, we head north to Neufchâtel-en-Bray in Normandy for our last night in La Belle France.