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D 'n A tandem encore
6th Jul 2017
Epilogue: Chaumont International Garden Festival by bike (58 km)

A little further upriver from Tours there is a Chateau Chaumont which each year in its extensive grounds hosts an international garden festival.  There is a competition amongst professional landscaping firms to obtain one of the 30 allocated spaces of about 150-200 sq metres.  About 300 applications are received each year, and the ‘winners’ have to prepare their spaces so that they will look pleasing from  spring to autumn, over six months, a major challenge.

We have been here once before (by car) and it was our objective for this year.  At 50-ish km from Tours it’s too far for a one day cycling round trip, so we were resigned to going there by bus or train.  HOWEVER, while buying our rail tickets for Tours-Paris, we picked up a rail leaflet boasting that for the summer period all the Loire Region trains will carry bikes for free, INCLUDING tandems to 2.4m.  And so, the perfect plan: we’ll take the tandem and the train there and cycle home.  We’ll get our total cycling distance up to a nice round 1500 km, and besides the train times are not all that convenient for the return, and it’s 2.5km from station to Chateau.

Getting on the train at Tours was not simple: the train conductor was adamant that tandems were not allowed.  We didn’t actually have the leaflet, but still quoted it authoritatively, and finally were let onto the train in a different compartment.

Good visit to the Garden Festival - lots to marvel at, some to wonder about.  

Hot return, high 30’s, sometimes nice cycle path by the river, other times up the slopes and through the vineyards, but all well sign posted.   Finally back at Tours, we felt we had earned our right to boast about reaching 1500 km.  We celebrated by adding a glass of Loire Valley bubbly to our evening dinner menu.

Next: In Tours as tourists
Previous: Étape finale: to St-Maure-de-Touraine (58 km), to Tours (45 km)

Diary Photos
6th Jul 2017  Train to Chateau Chaumont

6th Jul 2017  Flower border at Chateau Chaumont

6th Jul 2017  Flower Garden

6th Jul 2017  Box spheres

6th Jul 2017  Sculpture, Chateau Chaumont

6th Jul 2017  Japanese garden

6th Jul 2017  English garden

6th Jul 2017  English garden

6th Jul 2017  Korean garden

6th Jul 2017  Pond

6th Jul 2017  Rectangular pond

6th Jul 2017  Lily pond

6th Jul 2017  Chateau Chaumont

6th Jul 2017  Artist's garden

6th Jul 2017  Artist's garden

6th Jul 2017  Wall of picture frames

6th Jul 2017  Osier fence

6th Jul 2017  Osier archway

6th Jul 2017  Umbrella garden

6th Jul 2017  Leafy garden

6th Jul 2017  Chateau Chaumont

6th Jul 2017  Shade structure

6th Jul 2017  Water lily

6th Jul 2017  Glass house

6th Jul 2017  Glass house

6th Jul 2017  Drum kit

6th Jul 2017  Cyclist's tan
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6th Jul 2017  A welcome cold drink at the top of a hill

6th Jul 2017  Outdoor restaurants in Tours

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