Tuesday September 15
We left Chartres after breakfast, at which I enjoyed “do-it-yourself” crèpes: strawberry, apricot and chocolate. In my defense, they were smaller than typical crèpes!
Our next stop was a town called Amboise. We walked up a long hill to the residence of Leonardo da Vinci, who lived in Amboise during the final years of his life. Many of his brilliant inventions were on display. Later at a sidewalk café, we each enjoyed foods we haven’t eaten in years: quiche Lorraine for me, and Peach Melba for Nick.
The Loire Valley is dotted with thousands of chateaux built centuries ago. In the afternoon we went to Chenonceau, a chateau big enough to straddle the Cher River. It had quite a history, having been a gift from King Henry II to his mistress, and then reclaimed by Henry’s wife after his demise during a jousting tournament.
Later in the day, we went to Chinon. There we enjoyed a four-course dinner at an award-winning restaurant called Au Chapeau Rouge. Our meal was a salad of tomatoes and cucumbers, a fish salad, roast pork with a delicious sauce, chocolate mousse, and saffron ice cream. Calling the dessert “chocolate mousse” doesn’t do it justice. It consisted of creamy chocolate mousse inside a dark chocolate boat floating in a liquid white chocolate “sea.” Everyone applauded the chef! That night we both slept for eight hours and were the last ones to go to breakfast the next morning.