France Day 5, a set on Flickr.Azay-le-Rideau is Audrey’s favourite castle because she and her father visited it once before it was all touristy. It is still one of the quieter castles, but it isn’t as dilapidated as it once was. We had another gorgeous day to walk around the castle and grounds. One of the cool features of Azay is that you can walk into the attic area and see the great big beams holding up the roof – it smelled very strongly of cedar.
Unfortunately, the window of the minivan was broken, so we had to take a detour from site-seeing to find a mechanic in Tours. Tours is a legitimate-sized town, and it’s very typically French. The roads are lined with evenly spaced trees. Young people zip around on Vespas carrying long baguettes wrapped in paper. Everybody smokes. It was fun to see a real French town of that size, but it tired us out very quickly and we had to eat lunch in the car.
Luckily, we ended the day at Langeais, a beautiful though small medieval fortress. We were greeted at the entrance by the jester who showed how the drawbridge was operated – that was neat! The children really enjoyed the parc at the back of the castle, which included a massive tree house, and an exhibit of fairy pictures. There was also a nice view of the town. Weather was beautiful, as usual.