As lovely as Paris was, I was ecstatic to see more of France. My traveling companion had decided to rent a vehicle (under the guise that it was more economical than taking the trains. It turns out she just gets really car sick if she’s not driving.) I wasn’t allowed to drive because the extra insurance would have added 10 euros a day. I later regretted this because we did not exactly always want to do the same things. Or maybe ever. For example, I really wanted to go dancing, but alas it was not an option. I guess it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. Despite me paying for half of the car, half the gas, half of everything, I did not have equal access to it, which I’m sure would have continued on even if I had paid for the extra driver.
Getting out of Paris wasn’t the easiest of activities. My traveling companion is obsessed with using the GPS for going absolutely anywhere. I was in charge of guiding her through the GPS, however I had difficulty correlating the map on the phone to real life. We therefore made a couple wrong turns. As I said, my traveling companion enjoys being extremely prepared and having everything planned out. I am a “go wherever the wind blows” kind of person. She was therefore not exactly a happy camper about these things. We were still pretty much strangers, however, so it’s not like it would have done her much good to ream me out.
Saumur is in the Loire Valley, which is apparently known for its wine, but I can count the number of vineyards I saw during the trip there on one hand. It was a beautiful trek, and we were able to stop in a tiny town to grab some food. It was way too much food. It was interesting food. People stared at us. It was awkward, but the town was lovely. Because it was August, most of the towns were almost entirely shut up. It’s nice that the French get long vacations. 🙂
When we finally made it to Saumur, I was beyond ecstatic. It is a really beautiful place, and we checked into a really cool B & B called Le Patio, that seriously has the happiest man I have ever met in my entire life. He was always happy, bright, and full of cheer. AND THERE IS A CASTLE!!!!
My traveling companion was a bit tired, and I love to walk and explore, so after a dinner of sweet and salty crepes, I went off on my own and wandered around town, seeing all that I could see. It was really good for my soul. I needed it badly.
I’m not gonna lie. I completely fell in love with Saumur that first evening. I would never want to live there full time, but I would love to go back and visit. There is just something about it that pulls on my heart strings.
If you can’t tell, this was my first time seeing a real castle in real life. I was stoked beyond imagination. Although my being over-ecstatic was mostly kept inside my body.
Oh, and did I mention the horses? France, and horses = perfect combination.
It was getting dark, so I didn’t get to explore as much as I had wanted to. I went back to the B & B and yelled for my traveling companion to open the door for me since we only had one key. This part of my journey ended up being very bittersweet. Sweet because I loved Saumur, and bitter because my Aunt, who had ALS, took a turn for the worse at the exact same time.