Wednesday: Cheille' to Villandry
Today we get on track. We have working bikes and the weather appears
cooperative. After a typical French breakfast of croissants, we head out
We've decided to make time for lunch, so we don't run out of energy as the
A Word about the French Language...
Not being a world class linguist, I figured it would be a good idea to
prepare for the trip by refreshing my last French class (summer school after
fifth grade). Before our '98 Italy trip, I purchased a set of language
tapes several months before leaving and by the time we took the trip, was
semi-fluent (OK, I could ask where the bathroom was and order a beer, though not
necessarily in that order). Italian was relatively easy to pick up,
perhaps it's due to the similarity to Spanish. French was a different
story. We were making the trip with little lead time, and I couldn't find
a set of Pimsleur language tapes. Combine that with my inability to
remember most verb forms, and we're back to the Marcel Marceau School of
French. But I could say "I am an American" and "I
don't understand" like a native.
Actually, we thought things were working out pretty well. A lot
of the French people, even in the smaller villages, spoke a bit of English, and
with a phrase book you can always point to a phrase. This system worked
pretty well until we stopped for lunch in a bar in a small town. I thought
I had ordered a ham and cheese sandwich with a side of fries. What
I got was a ham and cheese and french fry sandwich. No wonder the
waitress looked at me like that. My only regret is that I failed to take a
picture of the sandwich.
The Chateau at Villandry is known for its gardens. Even the kitchen
garden is beautiful.
Kitchen Garden Formal Garden
Garden On the
We spend the night in a hotel next to the Chateau. The hotel is OK, but
makes us appreciate the B&B's we normally stay in. It did have the
advantage of a couple of resident Labradors so Jayne got her dog fix, even if
the dogs didn't speak English.
On to Thursday...