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

Thursday, 13 June 2013

The scenic route – part 2

To read ‘part 1’, please click here.

We crossed the Loire River in Orléans and made our way south, following the D2020 in the direction of La Ferté-St.Aubin. Having driven through the village on several occasions, J.L. suggested making a brief stop and shooting some photos of the local Château. The village which is located in the Loiret (45) department is part of the region Centre. A small stream, the Cosson, gives the village an almost ‘Touraine’ feel. We were hoping that there would be an inviting little bar with a sunlit sidewalk terrace to sip a cool glass of Loire Valley wine.

The bridge over the Cosson at La Ferté-St. Aubin.

We parked the car near the bridge over the Cosson and thought we were in luck, because, a little further up the road, we saw a building with a nice deep red marquis over the door and lit lights along the façade (which were completely obsolete as by then the sun was shining brightly). We strolled over to the castle gate and were stopped by a sign that read that from that point forward a paying entrance ticket was required to enter to castle grounds. We were also informed that the castle hosted a large collection of children’s games. As we didn’t intend to visit the interior of the castle, nor ‘la collection de jeux’, we obediently stayed on the public side of the gate and made some photos of the castle in the distance and the nearby ducks, geese and swans that were floating on the surface of the Cosson.

 The castle seen from the gate. Unlike the Loire castles (white lime stone)
bricks were used to build it.
If you follow the link, you'll see that it's also
a B&B and gîte; something we didn't know at the time.

One particular brown goose was clearly fishing for food, hanging upside down in the water, with its tail and webbed feet sticking in the air. The scene reminded me of the bedroom curtains I had when I was a ten year old. My mother had bought some colourful fabric with a recurrent print of three cartoon-like ducklings against a clear blue background. One of them was hanging upside down too, with its bright orange feet dangling in the air. In the morning when the sun shone behind the curtains, it looked as if the scene was actually coming alive. And with a little imagination, you could hear the splashing of the water … or was it the sound of my grandfather watering his tomato plants out in the back garden?

But back to La Ferté-St.Aubain 2013: I tried to shoot a photo of the feeding goose in action, but failed to get a proper one. The bird was just too fast for me.

Geese foraging.

Despite the warm sunshine, the air was really chilly, with a stiff wind blowing for the north-east. In de shadow cast by the tall trees, temperatures couldn’t have been much higher than 12 to 14°C. We therefore briskly stepped towards what seemed the sunlit terrace of the local bar. Coming closer, though, we saw that what he had mistaken for tables and chairs from a distance, was actually a display of plants and flowers. The bar turned out to be a flower shop. Slightly disappointed and increasingly thirsty, we returned to the car and drove on, hoping there would be a ‘watering hole’ in the next village.


Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I love scenic routes but then I don't drive at all , so someone else has to drive :-) .. my friend and I just went to Monaco on a coach trip , took us two days , we did stop overnight and then on to Monaco :-) and the same on the way back . OUr tour manager is amazing , he took us off route sometimes and showed us amazing places. Loving your trip so far :-)

VirginiaC said...

Hope you were able to quench your dying thirst at the next stop.
Loved the ducks.

Nadege said...

Le Loiret... I am from "la Nievre". Not too far from the center of France. Can't wait to see more photos. You should have stopped by to say hi to Dedene.

chm said...

When Ken and I stopped in La Ferté-Saint-Aubin a few years ago, we were able to walk all the way to the château for free. No entrance fee that we were aware of at that time.

Leon and Sue Sims said...

Do you take different routes to the Loire, just for variation.
We've left the Loire via Le Mans, Tours, Montrichard and also left via the east to Burgundy. Lots of hidden treasures to be seen.

ladybird said...

Anne, Monaco must be beautful, especially if you have a good tour guide who takes you off the beaten track!

Virginia, We survided ... but only just :)

Nadege, Dedene hasn't been blogging recently and I have lost touch with her, as I'm not a big fan of Facebook.

Chm, The time they are a-changing. The Château being a B&B they probably don't want tourists prowling around.

L&S, I usually like to get to my destination as quickly as possible, and if it had been my decision, we would have taken the 'fast' route. Nevertheless I enjoyed travelling differently ..

Vicky Spacey said...

It's good to see you have got back to France for a little R and R, I leave in 4 weeks for a break there to finally buy a house and put my plan into action. I'm looking forward to reading about your adventures. Vicky

ladybird said...

Hi Vicky, Lovely to read you. Hope you'll have as good a time in France as I had. And the best of luck on the house-hunting!