My wife and I are from Sacramento California. We like to travel and really enjoy taking short trip side trips during our stay. Our interests center around things with historical significance and museums. Of course, we are both "foodies" and being from California we like to taste wines wherever we are.
The people at Fat Tire Tours were very friendly and helpful. Unfortunately the weather didn't cooperate. It was rainy and windy for the entire day. In spite of the rain, our guide, Andre kept our spirits high and made the trip enjoyable. The scramble to get the bikes on the train before the doors closed was exciting and the trip fairly short. Upon arrival Andre led us to a market area where we selected cheese, bread, meats, wine and sweets for lunch. After visiting Marie Antoinette’s chateau and cruising around the canal, the picnic ended up being in a covered cafe patio where the owner was very accommodating and provided gas fired heaters. The heaters were great. After lunch, Andre set us free to tour the palace on our own. The palace itself was amazing. A short ride back to the train and the trip back were uneventful. Thank you for an adventure.
The tour to see the Loire Valley Chateaus combined with a noontime wine tasting was very enjoyable and our guide was knowledgeable, congenial and helped to foster a friendly climate. The tour began on a rainy morning at the elephant in front of the Musee d’Orsay. The small group had assembled and introduced ourselves, about 12 of us, when our guide came walking down the museum steps right on time. Our bus showed up and we boarded. It was a small but comfortable tour bus with a toilet. Our guide introduced himself and gave of a thumbnail of the days events and then left us all nap during the hour plus drive to Chateau Chambord, the largest and least used chateau in the valley. We did our part well. Not an open eye on the bus. While impressive and in a beautiful setting, Chambord is fairly devoid of furniture and has always been so. We didn’t spend much time, trying to conserve for other events. After driving about 45 minutes further down the valley, we arrived at the Chateau Nitray winery between Amboise and Tours. We were met by another guide. He was totally charming explaining the history of the chateau/winery and offering generous samples of his wine. I was especially taken with his inexpensive (4.75 Euro) Touraine Sauvignon and brought some home. He and his family also made and served our lunch, roasted chicken and tomatoes with a sampling of local cheeses. Dessert was an apple tart that I paired with some of the cheese. YUM. The last stop was the post card worthy Chateau Chenonceau. It is like a fairy palace. Built across the river, boasting gardens and a maize. The kitchen was amazing with a device to turn spit chicken in front of the fire place powered by a weight system reminiscent of early clocks in the cathedrals of England. We all did our sleeping part on the way back to Paris. It was a great day and I recommend it to anyone.
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