Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Day Six: Next Stop: Angers.

June 5, 2011 
Woke up a touch late at the hostel in Tours. Oops. Not setting alarms right seems to be a recurrent theme so far, haha. Pierre, the bow-tied bus driver, showed Brandy and I to the 2nd floor for breakfast. After, we hopped on the bus and set out for the Chateau de Chenonceau. GORGEOUS.  As if I missed it at Versailles, Chenonceau solidified the fact that the French don’t play when it comes to gardens. The chateau and its estate were gorgeous: lavish rooms, elegant decorations, fresh flowers in every room, two spectacular gardens, a wax museum, and its very own maze. Big fan to say the least. In addition, the chateau’s crest was gorgeous: overlapping, mirrored “C’s” with a crown adorning the letters. When I got to the gift shop I was disappointed to find there wasn’t any dainty jewelry showcasing the crest… then I found it. A delicate, gold chain bracelet with the crest stamped on a gold pendant in the middle. Definitely taking that one back with me to the states. Next: Chateau de Breze. Breze was different in the sense that it was two chateaus in one- one built underground into a layer of limestone, the other constructed on top of it. Breze was hosting a small medieval festival that day, so we were treated to watching townsfolk cook and gossip, brave riders on their armored horses, and Jill becoming the newest bride of a townsperson (until his actual wife caught him. drama.). Breze was smaller but nice; it has one of the deepest moats in all of Europe. We only toured the bottom tier of the chateau, but after touring we were treated to a wine tasting of Breze’s very own. We tried three: a white, dry red, and chardonnay/wine hybrid. C’est bonne. After Breze, we were bused to Angers- where we would meet our host family. I was nervous and excited, so I started singing a song titled: “Nervous and excited”… just kidding guys. However, I kid not when I say: Serge and Ghistline Priou = ADORABLE. No doubt about it. I had a good feeling after meeting/seeing them and could tell this was the beginning of something great. The three of us were excited and they were too- the ride home was fun/awkward because neither of the parties involved knew how to speak the other party’s language. Then we were 'home' – I could tell by my google map stalking abilities. Their home is split into three sections; upon entering, you find yourself in what seems to be an apartment style section.  To the left is a staircase leading to an upstairs bedroom, ahead a hallway to the patio with a shower on the right and bathroom on the left, and to the right- another bedroom.  Hannah and Brandy took the bottom bedroom to share, and I the upstairs. The bedroom layouts are quite similar: equipped with a bed, armoire, shelves, table, desk, sink, and food station (mini-fridge, microwave, and cutlery/ pots and pans).  Upon entering my room, starting on the left is a sink and mirror, table for toiletries, table and chair, sitting chair, armoire with my bed attached in the center (with a desk at the foot of my bed), a coat rack, two horizontal shelves, small cabinet with a microwave, mini-fridge, and table housing dishes. Our first meal with our family consisted of: bread, deviled eggs, mushrooms in what resembled spaghetti sauce, pork chops, potatoes, and cherry pie for dessert. We discovered they don’t know much English beyond “Cool!” and “No problem!” but they are really proactive. We also discovered that we know squat when it comes to French- here’s to quick learning and French classes!

Chateau de Chenonceau

To the left

On the left

Down the middle

On the right

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