Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Villandry and Azay-le-Rideau

Villandry is rightly famed for its fabulous gardens and this morning they were looking great, though one or two parts had been recently been replanted and need time to mature.  The best of it is that the most spectacularly geometric parts of the gardens are the vegetable gardens!  The chateau is delightful in that it retains a "lived-in" air with family photos dotted around the rooms

Azay le Rideau is undergoing restoration for the next 3 years so photography is and will be hampered. Nonetheless we were able to see the classic reflected-in-the-river view and to get to all of the (sparsely furnished) open rooms inside. The beams in the attic were very impressive.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Chenonceau - and its flowers

Visiting the chateau at Chenonceau today we were particularly impressed by the wonderful flower arrangements around the chateau all of which are grown in the kitchen garden of the chateau. Like the National Trust, the authorities in the Chateaux on the Loire now welcome photographers who are happy to avoid flash - they have flash-detectors which set off sharp warning in several languages about the use of flash - sadly the flash on iPhones and similar devices doesn't seem to be strong enough to activate the alarms!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014


We are back in Martignac staying with Gill and David.  Yesterday afternoon there was a great flapping of wings in a bush and there was a juvenile kestrel looking a little confused.  At first we were worried that it was injured, but I think that it was recently fledged and had not mastered the art of landing yet.  It remained in the immediate vicinity for about 40 minutes, then plucked up the courage to try flying again and we next saw it crash landing in a tree about 150 metres away.