Monday morning and we were being tourists. Within 40 minutes of travelling through delightful countryside, Buddie and us were parking up in the Aire at Chateaudun which is in a fabulous situation at the foot of the chateau and with a lovely park separating us from the river.
A pharmacy in one of the villages told us it was already 27 degrees at 11 am. Clear blue skies and bright sunshine affirmed this. In no time we were following walking signs to the chateau and the medieval streets surrounding it. Uphill of course, but it would have been rude not to stop and admire the view now and again.
Chateaudun’s own website has lots of information on its journey through history from Druid times to Christianity. The chateau is one of the few in the Loire area we haven’t visited.
The streets of the old quarter are both quaint and quirky, narrow alleyways with half timbered house and decorated with a profusion of blooms. Cul de sacs and pretty courtyards surprise us and from various angles we see the Chateau towering above. We find ourselves in the main square of the old quarter admiring cooling sprays of water from the fountain which is a fitting centrepiece and where we sit and have lunch. The square has more than enough boulangeries and cafes to cope with the midday rush for food from the workers and tourists alike. We bought jambon and chevre baguettes from a boulangerie with a queue out the door. Sandwiches are becoming popular in France too for a lunchtime snack.
The Chateau was closed between 12.30 and 2, so at 1pm we headed back to the van and John made a cup of tea and brought it over to the park where I had found a comfy bench under the trees.
Across from the Aire was a ‘quick’ route up to the Chateau, 200 steps that make up le route de St Pierre. I can verify that there are indeed 200 steps! Fortunately, they are shallow steps or my back would have screamed at me. John gave me a start while he tidied and locked up the van, but still caught up with be after about 30 steps!
The chateau inside was more impressive for its views than its interior in our view, no doubt for an historical architect it may be different. The holy chapel was interesting for its statues of 12 saints, Catherine & John amongst them. But what tortures they went through for their faith! As for the Chateau, it had the least furnishings than any other we’ve visited. But, we spent a shady and cool hour and a half exploring.
We didn’t spend the night at Chateaudun but moved a 15 minute drive away to Marboue a quiet village aire that we stayed at once when we had doggies. Just as well we arrived at 4 pm because within an hour it was overflowing on to spare ground nearby. A bunch of petanque players blethered to us from across the road. Hand signals taking the place of language! Tuesday morning and after a warm night’s sleep, we headed to Les Roches L’Eveque, stopping enroute to stock up on provisions and really, we are reluctant to move from our tranquil, riverbank position.