Amboise, the Chateau and the Marché

Well, we are in the Loire, so chateau visiting is a must do. So we headed for Amboise. Nearing the town we noted that it was heavy traffic, remembering it was Sunday ( for those still working I should perhaps explain … you forget the days when retired!) and summertime so to be expected we thought. So after a while seeking a parking space we noticed that actually it’s market day. What an unexpected bonus, I do love a French marche! 

 A good browse round the vast number of stalls revealed fruit and veg, plants and flowers, so many cheeses, olives, bread, local wines, sausages and meats, chicken roasting in a van with huge queues waiting for them to be ready. All mixed with bric-a-brac stalls, homemade goods, clothing, haberdashery…. so much choice, you could basically get all your heart desires in a good French marche! well almost!

Leaving the marche behind we made our way to the chateau. Its not a huge one like some we have visited but what it lacks in size it makes up for in quality. The gardens and grounds surrounding the chateau are superb and from its raised position above the town it gave us great views of the town, river Loire and the countryside beyond. 

 Whilst there were quite a lot of people around it did not feel crowded or busy so we could take our time to enjoy the views before making our way inside the chateau itself.

 Well preserved or restored it looks like only yesterday the royals and aristocrats were living here. Vibrant colours and solid furniture abound. 

The guide gives a good description of each room which adds interest and intrigue to the visit. 

Interestingly, whilst the today west are trying to eradicate young marriages in the Middle East, at the time of the chateaux in France being occupied by aristocracy, marriage at 14 was commonplace.

Leonardo da Vinci lived here at some point, and also had a chateau down the road, he is buried in the grounds.

After finishing our visit, and a humongous ice cream we made our way back to the car. 

 Almost by magic the market had disappeared, and you wouldn’t know that there had been anything there just a short while ago!

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