Off-boat excursions

The cruise wasn’t all about life on board. We had an evening cruise on a smaller boat on the Erdre River.

The medieval town of Angers was wonderful: towers, winding streets, old buildings and the “Apocalypse” (best translated as “Revelation”) tapestries.

No photos of the tapestries; the room was dimly lit and I didn’t want the flash to go off. They were too extensive as well. It was best just to look. Our guide carefully explained details, symbolism and how to see the images with fourteenth century eyes.

Here’s a detail from the front of the wooden building above:

The carvings went on up each level of the house, often with humorous elements.

More castles were on the schedule.

Azay Le Rideau was charming, on a gorgeous morning:

Nearby, in a village street there was a grape vine in a pot – mulched with corks!

We had lunch in a cave restaurant. There were many caves along the hillside used as storage or cellars or as outdoor rooms.

The renaissance gardens at Villandry are in private ownership; restored with the help of the American wife’s inheritance.

There is symbolism in each quadrant of the garden. The hearts in the top left symbolise romantic love, but it goes from frenzy to disaster in the other three parts!

I enjoyed the kitchen garden and browsing in the garden shop amongst plants, secateurs, trowels and owls.

Chateau Usse, apparently, was the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty.

Here she is!

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