France Day 9 – Saumur to Arromanches

Unlike when I was in Paris, I was not quite ready to leave Saumur. It had snuggled its way into my heart. Alas, it was time for the next leg of the adventure! We finished our last breakfast at the B&B and headed off.

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The breakfast room at Le Patio.

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The castle I never got to go inside at Saumur, and our B&B.

I had really wanted to enter the castle of Saumur, but my traveling companion had no interest in doing so, and I didn’t find the time to do it on my own, so we compromised on going to Le Chateau de Villandry. That way I could see inside a “castle” and she could see something she’s more interested in: gardens. This little detour was quite a bit out of our way, but totally and completely worth it.

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Le Chateau de Villandry

Le Chateau de Villandry itself is apparently one of the nicer old buildings on the inside. The owners have spent a fair bit of money upgrading and staging it so that it looks nice. At least that’s what my traveling companion said she saw on her travel sites. I don’t trust those travelings sites.

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Possibly the most uncomfortable sitting room ever.

I thought the building, though large, was extremely inefficient in its use of space. I started to imagine all the things I would have done to modify the spaces if I had been there when it was originally built.

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A giant room with a table that seats 6? What is this madness? Also, the colours make me want to puke, and what on earth kind of malformed palm tree is that?

Clearly I would have used it for dancing.

It made me sad that the building was built on top of an even older castle that was mostly razed to build the “new” one. Only one corner of the original building still stands.

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I’m sure you can tell which corner is the oldest part of the building.

The gardens were magnificent. Although also an inefficient use of space, they were beautiful and works of art. Truly remarkable. Honestly I wouldn’t want this kind of garden, but it’s a nice thing to visit. Some people enjoy doing this kind of thing, and I can respect that. If it were me, I would like that to be a field with my horses and gardens throughout. One day, when I have my own castle…

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3 types of gardens and a moat. So nice!

So there were food gardens, a decorative garden to be seen from above, a water garden, a lavender garden, a maze, fruit trees designed to grow along the wall. It was a really creative and amazing place to be in.

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Cool kitchen I would like someone to cook for me in.

The kitchen was pretty superb. I think it was the nicest set up by far. They had real food in the kitchen. That made it extra legit.

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Fancy gate!

I love cool doors and gates. I think this is so awesome because the castle’s property goes right onto the town. I’ve been saying that I want to live on a farm in the middle of Vancouver. I found a plot of land that is perfect – a little small, but still good. I like the big city living, but I need my farm. Sorry… less about me and more about the travels!

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Wild garden!

This was my favourite garden. As awesome as the perfectly manicured gardens look, there is something that innately appeals to me about this. It makes me want to run through a meadow and frolic with other fawns.

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Le Chateau de Villandry family

It was really special that this family put up photos. As much as it is a museum and a place to tour now, it also used to be a home. My imagination starts to run wild with stories of what could have been the past.

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View from the keep.

After enjoying a crepe and sandwich at the little cafe on site, we headed off to Arromanches.

The scenery was spectacular during the drive. I finally started to see more of the kind of landscapes that I was expecting from France. As we headed north, things began to change. Suddenly there were few trees, rolling hills, and some buildings left destroyed by the war. The architecture started to change too. My traveling companion said the designs of the houses and the little yards were more reminiscent of the English countryside than what we had seen so far in France. I thought it was all just spectacular.

It was getting late when we finally arrived at our B & B in Arromanches. Having just been in a spectacular B & B in Saumur, we were more than disappointed in our new accommodations. Truth be told, if it was just me in that room, I wouldn’t have minded, but the water in the shower cycled from burning hot to ice cold every 10 seconds or so. There was no room to turn around in the bathroom (they made it under a stairwell, so you had to crouch to get to the toilet, and you couldn’t stand in front of the sink if the door was closed. There was no room for my “tidy” traveling companion to put all of her stuff, no wifi, and we were going to have to share a bed. It also smelled really bad. Honestly, I’ve traveled to so many places, that none of it would have bothered me if I had been alone. She, however, was completely dissatisfied, and she complained. So we ended up getting a better room, with two beds (yippee!) and a bathroom we could turn around in. No water cycling problems either, and wifi to boot! Sometimes it is beneficial to complain.

Can I just say how beautiful Arromanches is? The view of the ocean lit up my soul in a raging fire of joy.

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