What a great time we had, 10 days visiting my favourite country, starting with an overnight ferry crossing from Portsmouth to Caen arriving early morning on my birthday.
|Early start (4.45am alarm) to my birthday on board Normandie|
|My late Dad's photo of Normandie when we sailed on her in 1992|
|Room service birthday breakfast|
|A glass of Sancerre in the September sun|
|My delicious birthday dinner at Le Bouchon|
The village itself was very interesting, lots of history. There's a red tourist line painted on the road that wanders around the tiny streets, a good way to learn more with the 28 points of interest. Sancerre is built on a hill with a chateau at the top which is now privately owned although the owners have given permission for the ancient tower to be open to the public.
Always ready for a challenge we climbed the 190 stairs to the top. A wooden structure with open steps .... not my favourite type of stairway but I made it and the views were amazing!
|Not my favourite kind of steps|
|Stunning views from the top of the tour|
|Vineyards of the Sancerre|
As well as our tasting in Pouilly-Fumé we also visited our second tour ... more steps, this time a more modern structure with more superb view across the Loire to Sancerre.
|Another tour to climb ...|
|... with easier steps !|
|Stunning views with Sancerre on the hill|
Our three days exploring were slightly hampered by the unusual September weather. This time of year we were expecting around 25 degrees, instead we had very hot and humid 30 - 32 .... plenty of refreshments required!
|The Ducal Palace|
|Nevers was full of history|
|St Bernadette - famous for her vision|
of the Virgin Mary - we visited her tomb in the church where
her body lies (she has wax hands and face)
|Wildlife on the Loire - beautiful to watch while we enjoyed our picnic|
Our day of visiting churches, the cathedral, shops and of course a few bars was superb, the highlight being a trip on the Petit Train. I love these road trains and this journey was amazing, taking us through Le Mans' narrow cobbled medieval streets.
|Notre Dame de la Couture dating back to the 12th century|
|Le Mans stunning cathedral|
|The height of the ceiling was amazing|
|The stain glass windows were stunning|
|The oldest part of the cathedral with its painted roof|
|Medieval cobbled streets|
|The streets were so narrow|
|The Petit Train of Le Mans|
|The castle at Falaise where William the Conqueror was born|
|Memorial at Pegasus Bridge|
|We were so lucky to see it opening ...|
|... even more so to have a Hercules fly past|
|The sunrise from our cabin window|