Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ah France!

Back in France again and it is fun to be in a new spot exploring.  Marcy and I are visiting our copine (friend) Martine in Pithiviers.  Her dog, Rhum Rasin comes everywhere with us.

Yesterday we drove to the Loire Valley to see some of the Chateaus there.  We spent the most time touring le Chateau de Chenonceau on the river Cher (she's even famous here!).  Built (well, supervised anyway) by women it is literally on/over the river.  No doubt that is one reason for the immense fireplaces in all the rooms and the big tapestries on the walls.  Made it easy to go down and wash tho - and the views from all the rooms are stunning.

The Autumn colors are in full regalia here which is a bonus.  Fabulous and huge flower arrangements in every room are changed twice a week using flowers and plants grown on site which adds to the beauty.

We ate a delicious lunch with a lovely local wine at the Orangerie, strolled the grounds and the 16th century farm, viewed some of the Kings and Queens in the Wax Museum and purchased some postcards. 

Driving along the river we saw many houses that tunnel into the valley banks.  With windows only across the front, these ancient homes prove that everything old is new again - the ultimate in energy efficient housing.

Next was the Chateau de Chambord with a roof full of spires pricking the grey sky.  I cannot imagine what the architects' plans must look like but they certainly kept the local artisans at work for many years!

Pithiviers is famous for the cake that bears its name and so we feel obligated to find the best tasting one.  (Yes, the no sugar, no starch regime has gone 'au revoir' for awhile!)  The first from a local bakery was good but so far the best was homemade and served as (part of) the dessert at an outrageously fabulous dinner party we attended Monday night.  Three(!) kinds of homemade sherberts and cherry 'soup' from the host's own tree completed just the dessert portion of the feast.  I could hardly waddle to the car...

Shopping for cakes is so much fun!  I'll keep you posted if I find one better than the last...

Au Revoir for now.