They need to come up with a way of easing you back into reality after a fabulous holiday. Air France does not know how to do this. In fact their goal seems to be the opposite of my wish. I thought my husband might have been over cautious about the time we headed out in the morning to begin the long journey back stateside. I didn’t mind as I thought it would give us plenty of time to have dinner before boarding. You would think I was a rookie at traveling or something.
Now flying over on Air France was pretty decent. Newer plane, it even had foot rests back in the cattle section, and the crew was pleasant. And, get this, the food was edible! Well, for airplane food. See why I thought everything would be civilised for the trip back?
Whole other story on the return trip. If you aren’t first class or priority for Air France in Paris they become very lazy in providing help. They expect us to do it all with kiosks and self checking the baggage. Which means weighing it, scanning it, reshuffling stuff, stand around and hope you can get help. Then finally watch your bags leave. This took forever. And we needed to change the seats. The kiosk wouldn’t do it so we had to find someone to help. Now we are feeling bedraggled as we work our way out of that area only to go past the priority where they have several people helping out the passengers as they sit comfortably at desks. Grrr.
Nothing decent to eat really at the airport and we were running out of time even with the delay. Now this was a 747 fully booked. When we flew over they called boarding by rows. Which prevents people from having to climb over each other. Not this time. Everyone queue up and hope for the best. No surprise it took longer to board. The delay was because the plane was late coming in and they had to clean it. What they were cleaning I don’t know but I was lucky to have wipes with me so I could wipe the food and dirt off the tray table, arm rests, etc. Just gross. It was an old plane so things were broken and the entertainment system for my husband didn’t work so we switched back and forth during the flight.
Reality was a swift kick up the backside!
So forgive me if I want to wander back to France and enjoy the memories. :) One of the places we visited was Chinon. Everyone we spoke to said we should visit. I’m glad we did as it was a neat place. The imposing fortress overlooking the town dated from the 10th century though evidence suggests people have been there for a few thousand years.
What was fascinating to me was that they were saying this was the seat of the Legend of Arthur. I’ve seen a documentary that said there was some evidence that Arthur could have been a French legend but nothing for certain. But by and large I’ve always thought of it as an English legend. Of course some of our kings ruled from this area. But this was what they were going with. The kids had fun with it.
For me the real history was fascinating enough. Joan of Arc was here. Charles VII was staying at the fortress when she was having her visions and she went to him and convinced him to let her lead an army.
They even have a transcript of her trial for heresy.
Quite a bit of the fortress is still standing though extensive renovations have occurred here and there given the age. The Royal quarters is where most of the exhibits were held.
The views all around the site were breathtaking. And it was such a gorgeous day where you could just see for miles and miles.
Of course all this trekking can make you peckish so we headed into town to find a place to eat. I wanted a place where you can try new things and we were able to find that. I ordered for a starter some stuffed mushrooms with escargot.
It was very earthy but good. They did a decent job with the escargot. That is an ingredient which is very hard to cook. At least that is my impression given how often it is screwed up. My husband and daughter were brave enough to try it but I don’t think they were impressed! For the next course I ordered a brouillard of eggs. No clue what it was but I saw that my father-in-law had it for his starter. I didn’t think I’d like it given how his looked. But I was pleasantly surprised. I would say it was like burratta for eggs. With bacon. Can’t go wrong with that.
We finished off the day going down the famous Medieval street. They are private homes, many of which have been refurbished, but they survived the world wars.
It was well worth the trip to Chinon. It’s not a huge town but there is lots to see and it was great to wander round it. Just a beautiful place.