Saturday, 28 May 2016

Looking after the Grandes Dames

When we chose the Citroën Traction Avant as the car we would use on our tours we knew that we would have to be extra careful about maintenance.

As anyone who has owned old cars will tell you, unlike modern cars they need regular greasing and oil changes - 600 miles between greasing, and 3000 miles between oil changes. They also develop squeaks and rattles that need tracking down and fixing, and quirky little problems often occur.

 Célestine and Claudette receiving their winter maintenance.

We are lucky, because where we live there are trained mechanics who did their apprenticeships on the Traction Avant, enthusiasts who retired from their regular jobs to spend all day fixing classic cars, garages that specialise in car restoration, and young mechanics who can repair anything from a lawnmower to a Group B rally car.

This means that although our cars are not museum pieces, they are in tip-top working condition.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Village Streets

When you book a one day tour with Loire Valley Time Travel we like to plan so that you don't spend too much time in the car. This allows you more time to stop and enjoy how peaceful the area is, a perfect antidote to the hustle and bustle that is Paris.

This often means that we travel down roads too narrow for a bus, to villages that the larger tour companies can't reach. If this sounds like your kind of break, email us and we can start planning your trip to the hidden corners of the Loire Valley.

Saturday, 30 April 2016

Watching Experts at Work

Old buildings and objects require a lot of maintenance, and much of the important conservation work at chateaux takes place between the end of September and the beginning of April. Far from spoiling your visit, this can often enhance it. You can see close up the detailed work of repairing and maintaining these priceless buildings and their contents.

Sometimes the conservator is even happy to talk about his or her work and can provide fascinating behind the scenes facts about how a decorative element was made or the particular problems of caring for certain objects. 

October and March are ideal times to visit if you are interested in how the chateaux are cared for. Visitor numbers are low, but the weather is often mild - just the sort of time delicate conservation work will be scheduled. After all you can't do precision work with frozen hands, and many old fashioned materials cannot be used when it is too cold.

If you are interested in the behind the scenes management of historic monuments email us and ask about tours in the spring or autumn. We can't guarantee you will get to talk to a conservator, but we will do our best to give you an idea of what goes in to the care of the wonderful Loire chateaux.