Tuesday, November 13, 2012

A Walk in Tours

We can't believe how busy this last week has been. Really sorry about missing our Wed/Fri/weekend posts. I read about Bloggers slowing down, even retiring - Blogging is my relaxation, meeting new friends, sharing life experiences - enough of my indulgences.

We promised we would take you with us on a walk around Tours. It was such a short time in Tours so we really just followed our noses. You see things that maybe you normally wouldn't see on a guided tour, then again you might miss something that a guided tour would show you.

For Sue and I, we prefer to be together and not be rushed with someone waving a flag above their head (the tour guide) with lots of other tourists.
An example of our way: We were feeling a little peckish on our walk, so we popped into a little cafe for a little brunch. I can't remember what we ate, but I pretended to read the local news paper. I still have some of them in my study to remind us of our travels - do you collect stuff on your travels?

Tours actually has a modern feel to it with its long wide boulevard near the station - it was the National Capital for 3 days in 1940 when the French Army fled the Germans to the Loire river. It sustained a great deal of damage from the enemy and subsequently after the war was rebuilt in many sectors. There are however many original buildings still standing over the many hundreds of years that have been restored including the Place Plumereau. This is square attracts locals, students and tourists. 

We didn't realise at the time but Tours has many Mulberry trees and this is because of the silk industry in years gone by. Silk workers from Lyon set up business in Tours and had the Loire river to pass their trade on to other areas of France. The Loire was both a benefit and a disadvantage to Tours in those early years as invaders from the far north used the river to attack the city in those early years. 

From memory we did have breakfast at the B&B before our day long walk. The breakfast area was very welcoming. So out the door of Hotel du Manoir, through the white pebble courtyard and out on the street which took us down Rue Jules Simon to Cathedrale St Gatien with its Gothic towers visible from most points of Tours. From here we turned towards the restored old town of Tours.

We passed a plaque that explained the presence of Jean d'Arc being in Tours. Its believed that Tours was where her suit of armour was made which she wore in the battle of Orleans. I'm a mad keen devotee of the maid of Orleans if you had not noticed - I have photos of almost every where she has been in the Loire.

Look through any doorway - and you might just see a sight.

Walk the streets - absorb the city.

Years of history that survived many invasions.
Where Jeanne D'Arc had her armour made before the battle of Orleans.

I think maybe this was a site of either the earlier inhabitants of Tours or ruins from the Roman occupation - can anyone tell me?

Another view of the ancient site.

Our long day walk was drawing to a close as we returned and the sun was lowering or maybe it was just cloudy in the late afternoon. We looked for somewhere to eat that night and we did find a restaurant but it wasn't one of those that sticks in your memory. Tours generally did stick in our memory as a place we should, could have spent more time exploring.

After our morning breakfast the next day we strolled into the main drag of Tours and guess what, a market day. Unfortunately we couldn't stay but we did take a quick walk before hopping into the hire car to meet Simon and Susan - well Celestine as well - have you been introduced to Celestine?
She's a lovely Citroen Traction Avant. She has a lovely coat of black and two adoring owners that we will introduce you to next Wednesday.


  1. You have some great photos there. Looks like a good place to visit. I had to laugh though at the newspaper, only you would find the page with the bikes on it LOL.

    Leon I always appreciate your comments even if there are quite a few on my blog.

    Take care and do not be too busy. Diane

    1. Thought you might enjoy my breakfast reading.

  2. Nice to see Tours without the tramway installation that was causing chaos when we were there in September.

    1. Hi CW - We have tramways in Melbourne but since forever. Did you enjoy Tours generally though?

  3. We always prefer to explore places our way as well and discover places off the beaten tourist track. As always I enjoyed exploring with you.

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