Wednesday, 27 May 2020

Wearing a Mask While on a Tour in the Loire Valley


At the moment the law requires that everyone in the car wears a mask when on a tour with us. The masks can be washable homemade cloth ones, or disposible surgery style ones. It's a bit weird at first, but you will soon get used to it. We made our own but a local contact has been making some very pretty hospital approved ones if we need extras. It crossed our minds to have some Loire Valley Time Travel themed masks made, with our logo on, to give to travellers to use on the day and to keep. What do you think? Would you like a mask with a classic Citroen and a castle on it?

Making homemade masks during the Covid19 crisis.  Indre et Loire, France. Photograph of Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
Susan making and modelling washable cloth masks.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Saturday, 23 May 2020

Mysterious Tower in the Loire Valley


Normally we aren't completely flummoxed by even the oddest objects and constructions, but this one has us beat so far. It's a tower with a lantern on top, but what was it for? Who built it? It appears to be 19th century, and by its position we would guess it's associated with the industrial site directly opposite on the other side of the river. But even our usual knowledgeable sources can't enlighten us as to its function and we haven't been able to dig up anything even with extensive searching.

Perhaps we will include it in your tour and maybe you have some ideas about what it could be.

Mysterious tower opposite paper mill, Buxeuil.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Slow Tourism in the Loire Valley


With the effects of Covid19 going to be felt for a long time, we predict that Slow Tourism is going to experience a boost. We've long been advocates of Slow Tourism, where you embed yourself somewhere, eating local and visiting smaller off the beaten track sites, always conscious of your environmental impact. We are delighted when travellers tell us they want to visit somewhere that other tourists don't even realise is there. We think the Loire Valley has a lot of small chateaux that travellers have never even heard of before they start talking to us. These places are invariably atmospheric and full of hidden histories. We love them and think you will too.

But they are often some distance away from the main attractions, tucked down side roads and at the ends of small valleys. It can take some time to get to them. Meals taken along the route are slower, more mindful. We are more likely to meet locals who are just going about their daily business. Maybe we'll stop and chat. We hope travellers understand that Slow Tourism means that you might see less, but getting there can be part of the fun. Mesmerising even. Travelling through the villages, fields and forests of the Loire Valley in a classic car is really evocative of another, slower, era (why do you think we are called Loire Valley Time Travel?). Come and join us for the full experience. You won't regret it and you will feel like you have had a proper break.

Citroen Traction Avant 11.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Friday, 15 May 2020

Loire Valley Time Travel During the Covid19 Crisis


During the period that Covid19 is actively circulating, and taking into account French government advice on public health, we will not be using our classic cars to offer chauffeured tours until further notice. We will be available for guided chateau walks and 'follow the leader' tours.

Logis Royal, Loches.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

The walking tours include guided visits to selected chateaux once they reopen, for example Chenonceau and Loches. There will be nature walks to study and photograph wild orchids in May and June and butterflies in June and July. We are also developing some specialist guided walks, focusing on 16th century graffiti, and Resistance graves in the forest.

Photographing wild orchids.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

'Follow the leader' tours are for travellers who have their own transport and can follow us to a series of sites for a half or full day tour. We will be working with a local chef who will provide picnic lunches.

Masks will need to be worn for some of these activities and hand sanitizer will be supplied. Group size limited to six people.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Monday, 11 May 2020

A Prisoner in a Royal Chateau


It's not just us who've been confined to our homes in the Touraine Loire Valley. Over the centuries there have been plenty of people kept in varying states of restriction here.

Marie de Medici was sent into exile at the Royal Chateau of Blois by her son. She was born in Italy in 1575 and was King Henry IV's queen from 1600 to 1610. On the king's death she became regent until 1614 for Louis XIII.

Royal Chateau of Blois.
Renaissance staircase at the Royal Chateau of Blois. Loir et Cher. France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

When Louis took full control in the spring of 1617 he decided to exile his mother and her entourage to Blois. Eventually, on the night of 21-22 February 1619, the 43 year old Marie escaped. She climbed out of a window of her apartment and with her jewel casket under her arm descended a 40 metre rope ladder.

The queen mother sought refuge at Angouleme and it took until 1622 until she was reconciled with her son.

If you want us to include this historic and atmospheric chateau in your tour with us, just let us know. To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Highlights of the Loire Valley on a Sunday


Amboise. Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
Amboise.
Once again, we should have been working today, but our unfortunate clients, an American family, have had to cancel. So here is a taste of what we would have been doing with them.

The roof of the Chateau de Chambord. Loir et Cher. France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
The roof of the Chateau of Chambord.
We were to have met in Amboise at 9:30am. Unusually, this was not a tour we were going to do in our own car. Instead I was going to meet the family, whose agent had organised a people carrier and driver for them. They were coming down from Paris and I was going to leave my car in Amboise and transfer to their vehicle. Also unusually, we were to go to the Chateau of Chambord where I would give them a guided visit of an hour and a half. Normally we don't offer Chambord in our tours, but for travellers who are really keen to see it and are willing to start in Amboise, we can make an exception. After that we were to head for Cour Cheverny for lunch together (depending on restaurant availability, Bracieux would be an alternative). From lunch we would have gone to the Chateau of Chenonceau where I would have done a guided visit of 2 hours. Then we would head back to Amboise to visit a wine boutique for a tasting. I would have left the group at about 18:00.

Beetroot and pigs ear starter at Chez Madeleine restaurant, Cour Cheverny. Loir et Cher. France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
An unusual but delicious starter at Chez Madeleine restaurant, Cour Cheverny.
To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Chateau of Chenonceau.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
The 'must see' chateau of the Loire Valley, Chenonceau (actually on the Cher River).
La Cave Amboise, wine boutique in Amboise.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
Summer will give you a warm welcome at La Cave Amboise wine boutique.

Thursday, 7 May 2020

Why Is There a Gilded Native American In the Loire Valley?


On the river bank, in a prominent position next to the municipal library in Tours, there is a fountain topped by a gilt bronze statue of a kneeling Native American with a Bald Eagle on his arm. What's that all about? The answer is that it is a memorial, but to whom? One way of finding out is to take a tour with us.

Memorial to the American First World War Services of Supply, Tours.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website. To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Share a Beer in the Loire Valley


The vibrant heart of the old centre of Tours is Place Plumereau where all the locals gather to share a beer. We suggest that when you tour with us you stay in Tours so you can enjoy balmy evenings in a lively bar that serves cold beer and rosé from just a few kilometres away. Then you can go on to a delicious dinner in a nearby restaurant and back to a charming boutique hotel. We'll pick you up in the morning for day of motoring through the lovely Loire Valley countryside, a bit of history, a leisurely lunch and some relaxed wine tasting.

Place Plumereau, Tours.  Indre et Loire, France. Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

To enquire about our private guided tours of chateaux, wineries, markets and more email us or use our contact form. More tour ideas can be found on the Loire Valley Time Travel website.