We took a quick day trip to Tours a short while ago (aug 1) to explore the city and have a little fun. It’s a 1 hour bus ride from Loches to Tours, so we left bright and early in the morning and headed to “the big city” for the day.
After arriving at the train station, we wandered towards the centre of town, stopping to visit the Jardins Botaniques. It is a large green space right in town, and there are many different sections of plants grown for specific purposes. The garden you see below behind the kids is the medicinal garden, divided into sections, each plant for a specific ailment or healing purpose. Kinda cool! The kids loved this park, it had a great playground, a small zoo/animal park in the middle, and these amazing vintage pedal cars for rent. Of course the kids wanted to rip around on them for a bit, it was awesome! I especially loved Danica’s horse-car.
Tours was an interesting mix of modern and old. There are loads of shops, we’ll definitely come up here again to do some back-to-school clothes shopping for the kids. There is the usual French charm, narrow streets lined with old stone buildings with their wrought iron window boxes and balconies.
In the centre of town is Place Plumereau, essentially a super-touristy square in the middle of La Vieille Ville, packed with patio tables and chairs for the many various brasseries surrounding the square. It’s pretty cheesy, but at the same time really cool to look up from your table and see super old, tall, narrow medieval houses that have been standing for hundreds of years.
We visited a beautiful old church in La Vieille Ville. There were the traditional coved stone ceilings and stained glass, but I especially loved some more modern stained glass along the sides, made up of abstract squares rather than the more typical pictorial or floral windows.
We wound up the day with a ride on la Grande Roue. It seems every french town and city is adorned with a ferris wheel and a gorgeous carousel! The view from the top of the Roue was pretty awesome, with the river behind us and the city spread out in front, fun to see all the red and black tile rooftops of the older part of the city, and the taller more modern buildings rising in the outskirts (picture at the top of this post).
Since our trip to Tours, we have finally picked up our car (a zippy Peugeot hatchback), giving us a some freedom to explore more around us outside of Loches, as well as getting started on our road trips. We had our first last weekend, to Normandy, kicking off what we hope will be a long string of road trips over the course of our year in France.
We also passed the 1-month mark of our time in France last Friday, August 7th. Why is it that time flies so much when all you want is for it to slow down? I can’t believe it’s been a month already, but we definitely plan on packing a lot more travel and fun into the next 11 months.