Yesterday we went down to the Loire Valley with our friend David and had a wonderful day exploring an area where we have never spent much time, just below Tours. One of our favorite discoveries was a little château called Cinq Mars. There was a posted sign on the gate which said "Ring the bell loudly and wait for 2 minutes." We thought the season might be over, but a very friendly older woman opened the gate wide and invited us in. We were the only guests and she and her husband were extremely generous toward us, telling us many stories and inviting us to tour their extraordinary garden. The towers on the property were built right after the first crusade in the tenth century. We were able to walk up well worn stone steps to the top of one of them and have a marvelous view of the surrounding countryside.
I will post a few more photos of our lovely day as the week progresses.