From Mont St Michel we travelled south to the outskirts of Tours and the Loire Valley. When planning our journey, we'd decided to try and find somewhere self-catering as we reckoned my sister and niece might be getting a bit fed up with hotels by this point. I also find them a lot more comfortable when you're staying in one spot.
I found a cottage in the grounds of a chateau in very quiet the countryside on the northern outskirts of Tour and we made this our base for the rest of our holiday.
Above you can see the entrance to the Château du Plessis - although you're missing the very fancy ironwork on the gates! Our cottage lodge (right) is just behind the tree in the above photograph.
The accommodation was great in terms of space.
However we didn't have a key to the back door (somebody had walked off with it)and the front door was impossible to open and close easily. So the whole time we were there the doors were unlocked!
On the whole, if travelling in France, I'd definitely recommend looking for B&B or self-catering facilities at Châteaux as you're bound to have a much more memorable stay than you would if you stayed in yet another anonymous hotel. It can also cost about the same or even be cheaper depending how many are in your party!
Below are my sketches that I did while at the Château.
This first sketch was done while having lunch on the Sunday - we had beautiful blue skies all day but the weather forecast looked ominous.........of which more in the next post!
8.5" x 11.5", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in sketchbook
We devoted most of Sunday morning to getting laundry sorted after a week in Paris and Normandy! This delayed our visit with Ronell (African Tapestry /My French Kitchen/Coin Perdu) whose home is in Montlouis-sur-Loire to the east of Tours. However it was great to meet up with Ronell and to be shown around Ronell's home for troglodytes! :) Of course I forgot to take photos! Ronell was most generous with guide books and advice about which chateaux were good to visit.
On the right is a less successful sketch (in composition terms) that I did of the front of the chateau and the lawn in front.
I'd been on my way out to sketch and it started to rain so I needed to draw what I could see from my bedroom- and didn't want to repeat the sketch I'd already done!
I soon found out that trying to capture neutral tones of the wall and the gravel was much more difficult than it looked! the cylindrical cones of the fir trees were not that easy either.
Below is a sketch of the stretch of road between the and the tunnel under the railway bridge which carries the fast trains to Paris. The leaves on the trees were just beginning to change colour.
It was great to have countryside to sketch on the doorstep - and this was a rather nice way of having some time out after a long day.
copyright Katherine Tyrrell