By car through Normandy

•Haute Normandy
•Mont St-Michel
•The Loire Valley






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The Loire Valley (click here to see the photos in a new window)

Our stay that night was in Ligre, near Chinon, at La Milaudiere, a charming b&b I found through the Gites de France website, which is very complete and pretty confusing if you don't know your way around every single village in France!

We'd hoped to go on a balloon ride, but the weather was windy and the ride was cancelled. We drove to Chenonceaux and visited the chateau, then went to Samur and visited the "mushroom museum" - which told you a lot about mushrooms and mushroom farming and was situated in a "troglodite" cave. These caves, all over the region, were created when tufa was dug from the hillsides to use as building materials for the chateaux that abound there. They're used for wine storage, mushroom growing, even holiday homes.

The Loire Valley is in some ways disappointing nowadays. There are several Payages (superhighways requiring tolls) but fortunately, they don't go too close to the chateaux. Fortunately for the chateaux, but unfortunately if you want to visit them, because you have to drive several miles on two-lane roads full of roundabouts to get to the chateaux from them. And on a busy weekend there is a lot of traffic, even as early in the season as it was for us.

We'd seen chateaux before, so we were not sorry to escape that Easter weekend crowd in the area and get away, on Easter Monday, to the nice quiet streets of Paris!