Espadrilles: Marc O’ Polo
The picturesque city of Tours was the last stop of my trip in France before I depart for Vienna. I spent the last day of my visit in Loire Valley sightseeing in Tours, visiting the Château de Chenonceau, dinning at “Le Saint Honoré” and also lodged in the most charming Bed&Breakfast, called “Maison Jules”. “Maison Jules” was one of my most favorite spots I saw in Loire Valley. I had breakfast together with the owner of the guest house, Alexandra, who told me that she was selling hotels in Paris in the past and that her father is an interior designer. No wonder this villa is soooo charming! (Cheers to people with excellent taste) My room was the Room Grégoire, but I had a quick glance into another room with butterfly wallpaper that left me impressed! With only one day in Tours, I had a limited time to explore the city, so I was lucky enough to have a greeter who showed me the historic centre of Tours in the morning and brought me to one of the most beautiful squares in France, called Place Plumereau. After that, I caught the train to the Château de Chenonceau where I spend the rest of the day.
What a pity the press trip in France finished here. I’ll be back soon!♥
Sometimes I catch myself daydreaming. I close my eyes and I like to think that I have a room at the Château de Chenonceau where I spend endless days watering the roses and having promenades in the garden, and where I invite the neighbors for evening champagne parties. And then I stop daydreaming and realize that instead of having a room at the Château de Chenonceau, I have a little room in the 4th district of Vienna and that I need to work, work, work, to get things done and move to a new apartment at the end of this month. But it’s not bad at all because I also realize how lucky I am that I got the chance to visit the Château de Chenonceau. After all, it’s The Viennese Girl who is living the fairy tale life and not me. I am just the editor behind this blog.
I hope you also travel vicariously through my photos, or even better, I wish you also get the chance to visit the French château, which is, by the way, the most visited castle in France after Versailles. If you plan to visit that romantic gem in Loire Valley, I suggest you find a place to stay in Tours (check this one) and take the train to the castle. Bon Voyage! ♥
Hotel: Au Charme Rabelaisien / Restaurant: Chez Bruno
Here is to another pretty little town, called Amboise, which I was happy to visit during my last trip in France. Upon my arrival at the hotel, I was welcomed by Sylvie, the owner of the charming hotel Au Charme Rabelaisien, and her lovely dog. We had a nice chat while I was giving a bunch of hugs and kisses to the little Jack Russell Terrier. If you have been a friend of The Viennese Girl blog, you probably have noticed how much I love dogs, especially the small ones. Later on, Sylvie helped me with my heavy luggage (too many goodie bags from Paris) and accompanied me to a beautiful loft suite on the third floor, overlooking the city and the royal Château of Amboise (bring me back please).
First thing on my list of places to visit in Amboise was the royal Château of Amboise. But Sylvie told me that I shouldn’t miss the chance to visit the market along the river as well. Amboise is a small town and my hotel was centrally located, therefore everything was easily reachable on foot. I went to the market and fell in love with the straw bag that you can see in the pictures above. The bag matched perfectly with my Marc’o Polo sandals that were super comfy for getting around Loire Valley. Having the perfect accessories on, I spent the whole day visiting The Château du Clos Lucé and the Château Gaillard.♥
Hotel: La maison de Thomas / restaurant: La Creusille
I spent one day in beautiful Blois. I took the train from Beaugency to Blois, and as soon as I arrived in the little town, I looked for the hotel to drop off my heavy suitcases. If you also have the opportunity to visit Blois, which is something I definitely recommend, you should check out this hotel. Needless to say, I loved my room on the first floor (which you can see from the photos here). I actually never had a room like this before and once I stepped in, I was in awe. I honestly didn’t want to close the door and leave the hotel for the day. But what can you do? C’est la vie!
How I spent my day and things to do in Blois:
Take the shuttle bus, which stops in front of the Royal Castle of Blois and in about 40 minutes you are going to reach the Royal Château de Chambord. Check the timetables for the time the last bus leaves for Blois. While you are in the Royal Château de Chambord, take your time. The castle and its surrounding are huge; therefore you need time to admire the exceptional architecture. There are also restaurants for a little relaxation. Once you get back to Blois, visit the Royal Chateau of Blois. From the Royal Chateau of Blois you can also have a panoramic view of the city (photos above). Plus, don’t forget to reserve a ticket for the festival of special effects which takes place in the courtyard and documents the history of the castle. During my visit in Loire Valley, I was going from one castle to another, which had me feeling like a little princess.♥
The trip to Loire Valley didn’t start at its best for me. I missed my train for several reasons but such a thing can always happen when travelling. You have to always know how to deal with unexpected little problems and don’t let them ruin your day. I remember that the Uber driver did his best to bring me at Gare Austerlitz on time but when I arrived there, I was five minutes late, therefore I missed my train and took the next one.
Orléans is approximately one hour away from Paris if you take the direct train. Unlike in Paris, Loire Valley tourism office organized a plan for me to follow during my visit in Val de Loire and picked me up from the train station in Orléans. We had a small tour around the old little town, had an amazing lunch at Ver di Vin (Sabine et Laurent merci beaucoup, the food and wine was magnifique), took a bicycle and rode about 28km to Beaugency.
Regarding the ride, the route and landscape were both peaceful and beautiful, but I would suggest that you do that in a small group with friends and always check the weather before your departure. A good idea would be if you rent an electric bicycle and have a couple of bottles of water with you. In the middle of the route, have a rest and pay a visit at the beautiful Jardins de Roquelin.
I spent the night in Beaugency at the hotel l’Ecu de Bretagne, pretty tired but happy. If you plan to visit Loire Valley, you might want to write down those few places mentioned on this blog post. They definitely deserve a visit.♥
After a hectic week with 3 deadlines, I finished my tasks and hopped on a flight to Paris for a press trip organized by the official tourism board of France. My daily program in Paris wasn’t based on tips of any travel guide. Since I know the city so well, I could spontaneously decide where I wanted to go and what I was up to next.
I spent a lot of time walking from one arrondissement to another because walking makes me feel good and it would have been a pity to spend time underground in the metro since the weather was so nice. And as I write this, I am asking myself: Do Parisians enjoy all this beauty around them, or do they take it for granted?
One thing that also helped me very much, which you might want to consider getting for your trips as well, is a SIM card that I bought from Orange. I had a French number and internet everywhere, which helps a lot especially if you have one meeting after another. I downloaded the app citymapper and used it mainly for directions on how to get from one point to another by metro. That made the whole experience of getting around a big city as easy as it can be.
The photos above were taken at Ralph Lauren restaurant, in the streets of Paris while I was doing window shopping, at Angelina tea house and at Ritz Hotel.
Although Paris must be the most beautiful capital city I have ever been in the world, it was yet again the people that I met and the discussions we had that made my visit so special. And the last day of my visit, the day I had to take the train for Loire Valley, I realized that 4 days in Paris weren’t enough. I am afraid that even 14 wouldn’t be…♥