After breakfast (where we tried to work our way through the different jams) we took a walk around grounds. One of the highlights were the vegetable gardens with many heirloom varieties.
We got away a bit on the late side and drove via the scenic route to Azay-le-Rideau where we parked and off-loaded the bikes. It was noon when we took off and rode through the farmland and teeny villages along the Indre in the direction of the Loire, reaching its banks at Bréhémont. From there we rode along the banks of the Loire to the bridge at Langeais where we pushed our bikes over.
By then it was about 1pm and time for lunch, so we found a nice place under a tree direct on the riverbank and enjoyed our final picnic on the banks of the Loire and took a short rest. [map style="width: 300px; height:300px; float:right; margin:10px 0px 0px 20px; border: 1px thin #777777;" gpx="http://saras-bike-travels.de/wp-content/uploads/gpxFiles/20130903_day11_reduced.gpx"]One of the things I love about these trips is the enjoyment of the simple things of life – the smell of the country air, a simple picnic with bread, butter, tomato, goat’s cheese, paté and a peach, and a nap in the grass – sublime!
In Langeais we toured the castle, one of the earliest known medieval castles and the site of the marriage of Charles VII and the 14-year-old Anne de Bretagne, thus officially uniting the states of Brittany and France. We were fascinated by the rooms filled with period furniture, tapestries and inlaid tiles.
Our ride back to the car followed the same lovely route as before. Back in Azay-le-Rideau we loaded up the bikes and got me supplied with a much-needed dose of ice cream.
For dinner that evening we had booked the Manoir’s table d’hôte. The owners prepared a dinner for the guests which one could book or not and we had booked for this evening.
It was a splendid affair: aperitif was a Kir, followed by a lovely salad topped with sweet and tender chicken livers. The main course was roast pork and ratatouille (veggies from the garden), and after that was a fabulous cheese course. Dessert was crème brûlée with raspberries. The entire meal was accompanied by lots of red wine without labels which we later determined was a Malbec.