This is day’s 3 and 4 my post of our RS tour in May. I’m trying to post the tour as seen and experienced through my eyes;
Day 3 Amboise, Chenonceau, and Chinon
Off to Amboise for a few hours to walk and explore on our own. We visited the home where da Vinci spent the last few years of his life as a guest of King Francois I. It’s interesting but a bit crowded (a theme for today’s scheduled stops). What struck me as most interesting wasn’t the famous concepts and inventions such as the tank and helicopter, but it was some of the lower profile inventions such as the concept for the ball bearing.
In the afternoon it was off to Chateau de Chenonceau, this is the one that straddles the river. Very picturesque but very crowded with school groups. We could have used more time. This is going to be a theme of my only complaint with the RS tours-not enough time in some places. I think back on the RS books and after this trip and in my opinion, it always underestimates the amount of time required. Not everyone on our tour will agree. We were usually one of the last back to the bus-never late though.
We stayed in Chinon at a very nice B and B. The highlight of Chinon for me was the ruins of the Castle. It wasn’t part of the tour and so my wife and I did it on our own. I’m like an 8-year-old boy when I’m in a castle and I had to climb every turret. What blew me away the most though was the graffiti in the dungeon that is preserved and displayed. It is thought to have been carved into the wall by the leader of the Knights Templar while he was a ‘guest’ during the 100 years war. There have been a few posts in the RS Forum lately about idiot tourists defacing historical treasures and I haven’t refrained from commenting about these Village Idiots, but here we are, displaying and celebrating historical graffiti.