The drive is beautiful. The past week has had rather unsettled and unsettling weather. By turns, it is sunny, then cloudy, then showery, then sunny again and the wind has been blustery. We're carrying around raincoats, windbreakers, sweaters, all to layer or un-layer with the changing weather. We've changed our activity plans several days due to weather that then didn't materialize. Today is no exception. Sun and clouds alternate. When the sun is out, it's warm and slightly breezy, but when the sun is behind the clouds, the wind is stronger and colder. And there are periodic showers.
We took a route along the north side of the Loire River from Gennes to just before Chinon, usually having an unimpeded view of the River. We are traveling along the levee that is likely the cause of the flooding experienced by Saint-Rémy's priory. We have a new appreciation for both the levee and the south bank flooded by its construction.
|parking at Panzoult Wine Fair|
These, it turns out, are the food and drink tents.
|The feeding station|
|A giant pan of vegetables being served|
|Janis with main course (large plate), cheese course (with salad) and dessert (small plate front right)|
Throughout the meal and later in the afternoon, we were treated to Breton dancers and musicians wearing traditional costumes.
|Clarinet, bagpipe and accordian|
|Breton musicians in front of the wine coop|
|Breton dancers in regional costumes|
|Breton dancers doing a line folk dance|
We bought wine glasses for 3 Euros each and used these for tasting in the cave - literally, a carved cave that was made just for wine-tasting it seems.
|This vintner spoke beautiful British English and told us about her nephew in the States|
We left around 3:30 and headed to our first "plus beau village" - a designation earned by small villages of under 2000 people who have beautiful (old) villages full of character. Crissay-sur-Manse has a castle, never finished, never really lived in, an old town of stone houses, and an old church.
|the unfinished castle|
|the upper village|
Tomorrow we leave for a 3-day trip to St. Malo (just the corner of Brittany), Mont St. Michel (just the corner of Normandy) and the D-Day beaches. We'll be back on Friday. To be continued. Time now to pack.