This year it will only be "France dreaming" as my bothersome knee...like for the last year...is still bothersome. I cannot guarantee that I can do a lot of walking, so with regret, we have opted to stay stateside this year. But, that does not mean I cannot dream about our past trips...especially one six years ago, to the Loire Valley of France.
We have slept in a castle before..many years ago in Germany, so I was all for doing this again. The Trout is such a fantastic researcher, so I let him do it all. I enter the picture when it is time to choose between this or that.
This chateau sounded so perfect, but the topper was that there was a dovecote on the property available for rent. A dovecote is a round, tall structure intended for pigeons or doves. The inside is a mass of pigeon holes for the birds to nest. An important food source in Western Europe, they were kept for eggs, flesh and dung. In Scotland, the tradition is continued in urban areas.
The dovecote was called a colombier or fuie from the 13th century on and pigeonnier until the 19th century. I have a few photos of where we stayed and this remarkable chateau.
Chateau La Vauguyon near Chinon, France, in the Loire Valley.
If you look at the above picture, in the foreground, you see some stakes. Yes, oh yes, this is where a farmer grows white asparagus and many times during the week we would walk down there and buy the fresh, white asparagus for our dinner. Very inexpensive and so very, very good. I have often thought that one of the reasons we like to travel to Europe in the early spring is because of the white asparagus.
The big cities are lovely, but we have always loved the countryside and small villages. Chinon is only a short distance from this lovely gite, and of course, the history of Joan of Arc is all over that city.
We did combine this week in the Loire Valley with a week in Normandy. I hope you enjoyed my reliving our trip. I think I feel better now.