South Transept and Organs Case
The Menhir and its Curved Ridges
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Hi, everyone! My husband and I will be doing PR at Le Mans this year. We will be working practice/qualifying and, of course, the race itself, but we will have a week of freedom in between. What to do?? One week is, of course, not enough time to see or do everything we might wish, and I am somewhat overwhelmed by all of the options. I could really use some assistance organizing and planning our limited free time.
We are fairly easily amused - favorite interests and pastimes include: wine/wineries; FOOD of all sorts; cathedrals/chateaux/gardens/quaint villages; motorsports, of course; and horses. Help! I briefly looked into an equestrian vacation in the Loire Valley; the dates were perfect and it all sounded quite lovely ... but my husband doesn't ride and while he could see sights and taste wine, etc., while I was riding, I was afraid we might not see enough of each other. After all, it's supposed to be "our" vacation, not just mine. ;-) So ... we dispensed with that idea, somewhat reluctantly.
We could rent a car and focus on the Loire Valley, or we could travel farther afield (by rail?) to Provence/Cote d'Azur or some other region. We might also like to splurge and spend some extra $ on one or two nights at a really nice chateau or hotel. Ideas, anyone? All suggestions and advice gratefully accepted!
We stayed two weeks in the Loire, outside Chinon last september and had a great time. If you want some info email me.
If you like horses, you could visit the National Stud south of Caen. That would be really interesting and something a little different.
Since you're already in the area, pick something nearby like the Loire Valley or perhaps Brittany and just spend your time in that area and really get to know it a little bit. If this is a first trip, you might really enjoy visiting the Loire chateaux. There are many different ones in different styles. There is a really nice equestrian show at Chateau Chambord you might like. We love the gardens at Chateau Villandry. There are abbeys throughout the valley and plenty of other things to keep your interest. It's a lovely region and you wouldn't have to travel too far to enjoy it. You could easily visit Chartres too.
Locate yourself centrally and just day trip leisurely. It would be fun, relaxing and informative. (I must admit, the chateaux are also very romantic!)
Have a great trip.
Thank you for the great advice, Beausoleil!
Chambord was my favorite of the chateaux I visited back in 1977. I would love to go back there, and if there are horses involved, so much the better. Where might I find information about the equestrian show?
Chartres and St. Etienne at Bourges were my favorite cathedrals. My husband has been to Chartres but not to Bourges.
Ok, so I'm almost very jealous, but...since I'll be on a ship in the harbor and photographing the Monaco F-1 in May from the Chicane, I'm not too...
Since rail is very easy, you could quite simply just "train hop" city to city or since Nice is the 2nd largest airport in France, fly down to cote d'Azur and use the train back and forth from Spain to Italy in that week.
Most cities/towns are quite close together down there.
We can exchange mutual jealousies ... we'll have to be satisfied with watching the F1 race on TV. :) One of our drivers lives in Monte Carlo, however, so we are considering heading in that direction if we decide to venture beyond the Loire Valley.
http://www.chambord.org/html/avisiter/domaine.htm and click on "Visiting Chambord" to get information about rowing on the canal, the equestrian show and a ride if you are interested. (The English site is really neat and was done by a junior high school class. They did a great job. Check the French site too. It has a fabulous photo on the home page.)
Chartres is my favorite cathedral in the entire world, but Bourges is truly spectacular. I've never ranked my favorites, but Bourges would be way up there. The windows are stunning and the view of the cathedral from the gardens is just perfect.
I live in Le Mans so if you have any question about the town, don't hesitate to email me.
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