The weather has been beautiful; real fall days, cool in the morning and evening but a little warm in the middle of the day. No rain!!!
Today is our last day in the Loire Valley. To make the most of it, the bus took us to Ange (pronounced anghay), to the Le Clos Roussely Winery. We stood in the vineyard while Jonaton told us about growing grapes in the Loire Valley. He then took us underneath the vineyard to the caves. The ground is made up of a kind of limestone that is soft and can be carved out to make caves. Being underground keeps the temperature constant. We saw wine aging in stainless steel, oak barrels and in a huge pottery jar. The pottery jar is an experiment. Each kind of container gives the wine a distinctive taste. We then went into the wine tasting room and tasted their sparkling wine, white wine, rose wine and two kinds of red.
The wine tasting room was also the gift shop, where most of us women bought soap made from donkey milk. It's supposed to be wonderful to wash your face with.
We then went to their dining room and had a wonderful lunch made from local ingredients. This is where we tasted the reds; and a special dessert wine with our cheese.
After lunch, we went to Amboise to see the Chateau (I told you there were lots of Chateaux in the Loire Valley, although we're not going to see all of them). The Amboise Chateau was occupied by King Francis I (I also told you that he got around alot). His good friend was Leonardo da Vinci. So the King brought him to Amboise when Leonardo was about 65. Leonardo lived the rest of his life there and is buried in a chapel in the Chateau.
We visited Leonardo's home and saw his workshop (Chateaux du Clos Luce Parc Leonardo da Vinci). The home is very well restored and is filled with his drawings, experiments, gadgets and the many ideas he engineered that we still use today. He was a real genius. IBM took his drawings and actually made up working models of his inventions. They are located at various spots around the huge park surrounding his house; like, the drawbridge, the machine gun and tank, a water recovery system, etc.
We visited the Amboise Chateau; also beautifully restored. And since Chateau's are always on top of a hill, we had a wonderful view of the Loire River and the lively town of Amboise.
We got back to Blois in time to go out to dinner. We went to a nearby creperie and had ham and cheese crepes. Delicious!! We wanted to have a dessert crepe but it got so crowded that we didn't want to wait. There is still time to get a sweet crepe somewhere in France.
We're off to meet our boat in Paris tomorrow. We'll spend a couple of days in Paris; maybe they'll have sweet crepes there, do you think?