Candes Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in La Touraine.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

The perfect picnic spot

La Touraine is a great region to picnic, because the banks of the Loire’s tributaries offer fantastic picnic locations. The best one we’ve ever discovered, however, is not near a river, but by a pond in the village of Champigny-sur-Veude.

Champigny-Sur-Veude is some 7 kilometres north of
Richelieu. There used to be a 16th century castle in Champigny, built by the Bourbon-Montpensier family, but the Cardinal de Richelieu had it demolished. Today, all that’s left are some outbuildings and a chapel dedicated tot Saint Louis. The chapel has gothic as well as Renaissance features and it is renowned for its glass stained windows. They go back to the second half of the 16th century, but were dismantled during the French Revolution. In 1793 they were put back into place. In the 19th century the windows were restored. During World War II, and to avoid them being destroyed by the bombing, they were dismantled once again. After the liberation of France in 1944, they were put back.

Driving through the village, coming from the north, you’ll see the chapel on your right. A little bit further, on your left, is a small street that leads to the municipal pond. On the well-tended lawn and in the shadow of the neatly pruned trees are three or four picnic tables.

Make sure to arrive early, because the place is very popular with the locals. Last time we were there, a party of seven – probably friends and neighbours – were having lunch. They came well equipped with extra chairs and tables and a large cool-box, with lots of food and drinks.

Other people come to fish: carp and trout … and sometimes even a pike (if you’re lucky). Well, that’s what we were told by the two men who were fishing there during our first visit. To be quite honest - although we stayed well over an hour and half – we never saw them catching any fish. But that didn’t seem to bother them too much. They were obviously having a great time, sitting in the sun, occasionally taking a sip from the bottles of red wine that they kept hidden in the shade of their fishing baskets.



chm said...

I seem to have problems commenting on this blog. The set up is more complicated than with other blogs. Any reason why?

Anyway, if I am able to post a comment this time, please keep up the good work. Belgium is as interesting as any place else and certainly much less known.

ladybird said...

chm: It's nice to read you. I don't know what is causing the problem, although posting has become a bit of a problem - even for me - ever since I've downloaded Explorer 8.0. In the meantime I've switched to Firefox, and that's pobably why you managed to post a comment today. Keep trying!

I'm glad you liked my posts about Belgium. More to come ... maybe! Martine

ladybird said...

chm: I think I've solved the problem ... even in Explorer 8.0. Apparently one of the encoding parameters wasn't set for Windows. Let's keep our fingers crossed! Martine

chm said...

Let's see if it works for me now. The new encoding won't hurt I guess.

It says: Your request could not be processed. Please try again.

It didn't work because the word verification doesn't appear.

I'll try again.

chm said...

I must click the Preview to get the word verification. How strange. What if I don't want to preview my comment?

First you have to select a profile. That's OK. But you seem to have a choice between Post comment and Preview. If I click Post comment I don't get the word verification???????

ladybird said...

chm, I'm puzzled. I really wouldn't know the answer to the problem. I asked a collegue at work to post a comment today, and he didn't experience any difficulties. I hope the little detour via the 'preview comment' window will not stop you from posting a comment every now and then :)). Martine