I was awakened during the night by the sounds of a thunderstorm. Those never last long in the Loire Valley, and it soon eased to a gentle rain. By morning, the rain had ended and the sky was overcast. The four of us enjoyed coffee, fresh orange juice, and a variety of pastries before packing for an overnight jaunt to Briare.
|Religieuse, or nun. A delightful pastry.|
We enjoyed our leisurely lunch, with Darci and I sharing a pizza called "la fermiere", which translates to "the farmer". It was a delicious combination of potatoes, chicken, onions, and cheese on a light, crisp crust that had been slathered with cream. Craig chose the pizza tartiflette, which was the one I had devoured on a previous visit. Mathieu was very happy with his salmon salad, though he did have room for some of our pizza.
The rest of our drive didn't take long. We continued through some lovely countryside until we reached the site of Guédelon, medieval castle under construction. I had been longing to visit for quite some time, and even though a light rain was falling, we all looked forward to the living history before us. We purchased rain ponchos in the gift shop and set out to explore the building site. Though the rain never let up, we doggedly sloshed through puddles and mud that was sometimes yellow, sometimes orange, sometimes rust. However, even a dreary, soggy day could not deter us from marveling at the castle construction.
|Entering the construction site of Guedelon Castle.|
|It's possible to tour most of the rooms inside.|
|A worker making tools for dressing stone.|
|The horse delivers a cart-load of stone.|
|Ongoing construction at Guedelon Castle.|
|All of this lumber was planed by hand.|
|A lovely scene at Guedelon Castle in France.|
|The paints were made on site.|
|Window seats for reading or reflection.|
|This is how to bolt a medieval door!|
|Lovely stonework in the chapel at Guedelon.|
|The hut where fabric is woven and dyed.|
|Colorful hanks of yarn are hung to dry.|
|This is where paints and dyes are made from plants and stones.|
|A talented potter at Guedelon.|
|Every thickness of rope and twine|
are made at the building site.
|A lovely view of the castle from the forest.|
|A view of the lock in front of the B & B near Briare.|
|The cozy sleeping area at our gite in Briare, France.|
|The kettle and packets of coffee|
and tea were a nice surprise.
|The other bedroom at the gite.|
|Another view at the B & B in Briare, France.|
|A colorful crepe for dessert.|
|Darci walks along the Pont du Canal.|
|Craig, Mathieu, and Darci on the canal bridge.|
Travel Tip: Pack some lightweight galoshes!