|Forteresse de Chinon spreads along the top of the bluff as we cross the Vienne River|
We're traveling in 2 cars with Christie and Alex, and Janis and Clark. Makes for some interesting twists and turns. Christie and Alex are navigating by Google maps on an unlocked cell phone that Alex has. They bought a sim card here in France and pay for data as they go. They find that Google maps is easier to use than the GPS in their car. It's certainly quicker to map than the GPS in our car. And they see route options that we don't see on our GPS. But they're young and we're old and we're lucky we can use the GPS in our car.
|Clark and Janis|
|Alex and Christie|
The fortress of Chinon played a pivotal role in the 100 Years War between England and France for property rights in western France. Complicated intermarriages, including that of Eleanor of Aquitaine who married and divorced the King of France before next marrying the future King of England was the root cause of the showdown between the French and English.
|Chinon seen from the rear side|
Sitting in the garden on a bench with this symbol, I was soon listening to the sounds of horses, chickens and both the master builder and Geoffrey, Duke of Anjou, and new owner of the castle (in the 1100s) discussing the building of this fort.
|Looking down the ramparts of Chinon toward the royal apartments|
This is the castle where, in 1429, Joan of Arc convinced Charles of Valois (not yet crowned king due to the wars with England) to allow her to lead troops to Orléans. She defeated the English in this battle and led troops as far as Reims where Charles was crowned King Charles VII.
Few of the buildings are left today, but the royal apartments have been restored and the rooms hold multi-media displays of events from the castle. There are no furnishings, but there are displays of Joan of Arc representations and models of the castle at various periods of time.
|Clark at top of Coudray tower|
|The Coudray Tower and the second dry moat|
|Janis and Clark coming down from the tower - the stairs are a bit tricky|
There are views of the town and river from ramparts and towers.
|Our picnic area was on the grassy part of the sandbar on the far side of the river.|
|Looking west from the end of the castle|
|It's the castle toilet - look out below|
|Look closely at the right side of the vertical walls|