Thursday, April 6, 2017

Day 5 - Troglodyte Dwellings, Chateau Saumur, Chateau d'Usse, and Amboise (Loiré)

After figuring out the schedule in the country, I readjusted our itinerary to make sure we got to see what I had planned. I found this interesting cave, a living historical site that opened during the lunch hour while we were on our way to Amboise.

The whole cave living arrangement was very interesting to see and a different life style from castle. Cave (or underground) living was basically an affordable way of housing choice for farming people. Because of the natural stone material in this region it made it easy for people to excavate the cave... people used the underground for home, barn, wine cellar, nowadays for hotel and restaurant and wine tasting room. It was a quick detour and fun for Sophie to explore around each cave.

We arrived Saumur just pass 2pm... perfect timing for a Chateau tour. So exciting... finally kicked off the castle hopping trip in Loire Valley.

There was an English guide at 2:30... very informative and interesting. However, between the strong French accent and her limit English, we could only understand half of it. I also don't know much of European history so that made it hard to follow. But after listening to the guide, I definitely am interested to know more of this region's history. Now just need to find a good book or a good TV show 😂. I remembered I got hooked on Tutor and that made it so much more interesting while visiting Windsor castle.

As you can tell that the castle is under-going some serious restoration.
Behind me in the picture was the view from the castle which sits right on the Loire river.
Second castle of the day - Chateau d'Usse which was is also known as Sleeping Beauty's castle. It's fairy tale looking inspired the writer Charles Perrault for his tale of Sleeping Beauty.  And here in the picture our sleeping beauty in daddy's arm...

Not so sleepy after seeing the sign that there were rooms set up for each story scene. Sophie was very engaged every step of the way. I had to said that the castle owner was very smart to engage the kids and parents like this... and this was probably the most expensive ticket we paid for castle visit. I wondered if Disney has a cut of it.

The scene that the Prince woke up the Sleeping Beauty.

After checked in to the Chateau where we would be staying for five nights, we headed to center of Amboise. Our first choice of restaurant was super busy and completely booked. So we settled for second option.

Josh looked so tired here... we had a long day... lots of driving in between and we visited 3 different places... very busy day. The good thing was, we were ahead of my original plan...

Dinner after a long day... rewards for lots of walking today!!