The morning sees us drive through open farmland, bare as far as the eye can see. Not that it can see far mind – fog still blankets the land, possibly even heavier than it was yesterday.
The highlight of the drive is seeing six pheasants across three separate sightings, all boys with gorgeously coloured heads and fancy tail feathers.
The absence of girls is a mystery. The fog must give creatures a sense of security – we saw another herd of deer yesterday morning, also deep in fog. Hopefully they’ll sensibly put themselves back under cover before it lifts.
Lunch time sees us arrive at the commune of Chateaudun, firmly in northern France, near Orleans, on the banks of the Loire.
It offers a cornucopia of historically significant building and monuments, but first we need to find our way into the centre. We start at the Chateau de Chateaudun, built between the 12th and 16th centuries,
climbing the winding 200 steps of St Peter’s Passageway, up to the heart of historic centre.
It’s lunch first, of course, duck confit for Himself,
veal with trompettes for me
and a pomme gratin for dessert.
There were excellent pomme de terre for both dishes too, but they arrived after I took the photos!
After lunch we arm ourselves with a tourist map, stamp out the cold and set out on the tourist trail through the medieval historic centre. The walk takes us past all the buildings and monuments of interest.
We see the Hotel d’Ville, built in 1777 following a fire earlier that century.
Nearby is a flower strewn fountain bearing the town motto “extincta revivisco” (extinct, but I come back to life). Apt, given the fire and rebuild.
Other highlights include this beautiful Renaissance house with a corbelled turret,
the remains of the 12th century fortified wall
and very foggy views over the Loire.
The old main street features many beautifully decorated half timbered houses.
We also see the old theatre,
and of course there are churches – the St Valerien church with its enormous steeple
and the Romanesque 12th century Abbey church of La Madeleine.
In the gardens of the Hotel Dieu, we see a bust of Saint Vincent de Paul, who appointed the Daughters of Charity here in 1654.
We wander a little further taking in all in, but the cold gets to us eventually. And by us, I mean Chris.
We eventually make our way back down the steps to the river where I make friends with geese and ducks using yesterday’s bread as enticement.
We drive a little further in search of a powered site. All this fog isn’t doing much for our solar panel much good.