Time to leave the Alps...sniff sniff...
Preparing the bride on the steps of the Paris Opera House
While Paco was wrangling with the Eurail officials over French travel restraints, I sat on a curb with ice cream and watched this carousel caretaker very carefully put screens ups around his business at the end of his day. I pictured him day in and day out, year in and year out and thought that every day across the world while I'm bending minds at 6,000 feet, he is here in Paris watching this carousel go around and around. Then he climbed into his Mercedes and headed out into the Parisian traffic!
One of the motivators for this whole trip was a Rick Steve's episode on the Chateaus of the Loire Valley. I'd been here before, but I knew Paco would groooooove on it. So we booked a day tour of 5 of the 100 plus chateaus. Enjoy your virtual piece of that!
We languished in these gardens! Rain and all!
These two jolly Aussie gals were out on a THREE MONTH walkabout in Europe! They planned and booked it as they went! We LOVED spending the day on a small touring bus with them! Larece, on the right, confided to me that she had had to forego art museums because of her traveling companion's lack of patience for them! Yikes! I would have negotiated at least a couple of those. I'm sure now they're back in their scrubs and coffee shop at a Sydney hospital.
Every now and again something random shows up. These donkeys at one of the chateaus is a perfect example and leaves you saying, "Huh?"
This one is telling Paco his tale. I heard the words "reincarnation", "former duke", "indiscretion".
Lest you worry about a clay pot shortage.
This was my favorite. It was smaller and intimate and had been the residence of da Vinci for many years. His presence was evident in many many displays and artifacts.
A private chapel to service the chateau.
Cool medieval wall barricade.
The beautiful Loire River! Ahhh, in a kindler gentler time I may have enjoyed being French royalty and coming for the summers to my chateau...
And an Orangina shoutout ad in the Metro. This must have been their summer campaign. These wild beasts in crazy athletic pants and shorts were alllllllll over Paris. Their money wasn't wasted on us! We completely drank our share (and then some) of Orangina.