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Continuing with our journey in the Loire Valley …  after a few days in Saumur, we went up river to see the chateaux that made the area famous. In the countryside around the city of Tours, we visited several chateaux that are justifiably France’s national treasures and deservedly tourist magnets. We will share those pictures in later posts.

Hailstorm in Tours city center, one of the bigger city along the Loire

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As many of the smaller chateaux have been repurposed as hotels or bed-and-breakfast, we decided to book a room at such an establishment. Originally we made a reservation at Château du Paradis through Booking.com. We chose it because it had good reviews and was situated in the middle of a forest. After having slept in a cave (see earlier posts here and here), we wanted to try a château in a forest.

Deserted streets in Tours after the hailstorm

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Big problem !  We did not realize this place requires that the guests arrive before 8 pm. The owner called us while we were having dinner in downtown Tours (after a totally unexpected but spectacular hailstorm). He canceled our room reservation and volunteered to book us into a similar establishment nearby. He did not charge us because someone was waiting to take our room. This turn of event was a little disaster in the making. Apparently, the notice about the early check-in was in the original web page when we booked, but it was hidden behind a link and not in our email confirmation so we forgot/missed it when we were on the road. Booking.com need to make such special requirements more prominent in their paperwork.

Driving along the Loire towards Amboise

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We really did not have a choice at that time. So we accepted without knowing what the place looks like except reassurances from the owner of the Chateau du Paradis.

Amboise in a distance

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We finished our dinner quickly and started heading towards Amboise looking for a chateau for which we have only the vaguest directions – go to Saint–Règle.  Any more detailed address is useless in the countryside.

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Fortunately, the place was not that difficult to find. After turning off the public country road, we drove on a partially paved road for about 5-10 minutes before coming up to a gate. Et voila.

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Given the circumstances, we lowered our expectations. But we were pleasantly surprised upon arrival.

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The room afforded us this view out of the window including a horse in a meadow. Very calm and relaxing.

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The room had a distinctly home-y feel which was welcoming. It even had a working fireplace.

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Antique-ish metal bath tub and modern showers …
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It was a relief for us after the surprise and panic, and allowed us to rest after a long day of sightseeing.

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More pictures of Chateau des Arpentis to come.

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