All posts filed under: Loches

Au Revoir, Loches

Loches. We left on May 28, nearly 11 months after arriving in this quiet medieval town. We decided to spend the month of June in Italy, before returning to Canada when our visas expire at the beginning of July. Our last week in France was a series of goodbyes; to friends, classmates, tastes, sights, and sounds. Our last trip to the market up the street, a last beer on the sunny patio of our local pub, my last chausson aux pommes (my absolute favourite french pastry). A foggy glimpse of the logis royale from Danica’s bedroom window. A tearful last day of school. One last afternoon spent at the Jardin Publique, a last play with une meilleure copine, final visits with friends. A last dinner out at the restaurant across the street from our house. A quiet contemplative wander up Grande Rue, the cobbled pedestrian street we called home. Throughout this difficult week of farewells, we reminded the kids of one thing : “Don’t be sad that it’s over, be happy that it happened”. Sometimes it’s hard to remember this one. There …

Corners of Our Town

During our last couple weeks in Loches, I became rather nostalgic. Walking through town would have me wistfully remembering our first time strolling up to the cité royale, walking through the archway with Joan of Arc’s name. Our visits to the twice-weekly market, the many trips to our favourite boulangeries, the little metal shop signs…The list goes on. I started snapping photos of all the little details. The bits and pieces that sometimes started to seem commonplace. All the pretty that surrounds you when you live in a tiny medieval town in the Loire Valley. There is no question that we live in a pretty outstanding part of the world, in the Pacific Northwest of Canada. Vancouver Island is incredibly gorgeous. But it lacks the history. The stories behind every stone, every château, every ancient building. When I look at these photos, the history is staggering, the beauty undeniable. Some of our favourite corners, views, doors, and streets. And so, I thought I’d share some corners of our town. I will miss this. We all will miss this.

Chédigny

Loches is one of the larger towns in it’s immediate area (with a population of a whopping 6500 or so!) and is surrounded by the most charming villages dotted throughout the countryside. This is something I just love about France. La campagne (countryside) is simply full of teensy gorgeous villages! Some of them have populations as small as a hundred, and their history goes back with the families for hundreds of years. There will be a whole string of these villages within a five to ten minute drive of one another, with one or two schools servicing every half dozen villages, and each one having it’s own boulangerie and maybe access to a small market. I was always so charmed as we drove through the country roads, passing all these beautiful unique spots. It is something I will definitely miss when we go home. About a twenty minute drive from Loches is Chédigny, population 500 or so, and with a reputation for having the most incredible roses and flowers in spring. Oliver had a footie tournament one weekend in early …

Around Town

Around Town, Volume VIII. Keeping with the timeline of the blog (certainly not real-time, as I am fairly far behind!), I wanted to share some pics of early spring around Loches. When we arrived home from Scandinavia, we noticed that the first canola fields were blooming. Blossoms were just starting to pop out in the Jardin Publique, and it wasn’t long before we figured spring was on it’s way. We were actually a little far off as far as temperatures go — it ended up being quite chilly right through to early May. We had the odd sunny day here and there where it felt slightly warmer, and of course these photos are all from those days! But they were few and far between, and it seemed we were in for a long, slow lead up to any proper warmth in our part of France. Luckily the blossoms managed to persevere. When the sun did make an appearance, we often stopped for a drink on the patio at the Café des Arts, or went for walks around town. …

Around Town

I haven’t done one of these for a while! I thought I’d share a few phone snaps of what we’ve been up to these past couple months, so here we are with Around Town Volume VII. The Prairies des Rois are a couple of huge fields with walking paths, farmland, and poplar groves separating Loches from Beaulieu-lès-Loches, the next town over. I’ve posted many photos of our walks there before (like here, for example) and we spent a lot of time down there through summer and fall just hanging out. There are a bunch of informative placards throughout the Prairie, talking about the birds living there, the poplar groves which are grown for harvest every couple years, and the wetlands that happen in the winter if the Loire floods. The fields do flood every year to varying degrees, but apparently this year is one of the worst in recent memory! As you saw in my last post about Chinon, with trees literally growing out of the expanded river, the banks of the Loire did indeed flood this winter. Even though I didn’t feel like it was all that …

Le Louroux

Just about a 20 minute drive from Loches is this little gem of a lagoon, in Le Louroux. We drove up there a couple weeks ago for the first time, thought we’d take a walk and enjoy the crisp fresh air. The kids always love being by the water, and even let me take a few pics of them. It’s like pulling teeth to get them to look my way, usually. After walking around the lagoon for a while, we went into town. I use that term very loosely! Not only is it an extremely tiny little town, but it was also a Sunday, so it was literally deserted. For those who don’t know, pretty well everything shuts down on Sundays in France. But we did happen upon this amazing abandoned prioress. The kids enjoyed peering around the ancient buildings and courtyard. Felt like something out of a fairy tale.

Football

Pretty much every day, Oliver asks to go to the stade* to play soccer. He’s always been an athlete, and much to this soccer-playing-momma’s delight, he excels on the pitch. Oli still gets a little annoyed with me for saying soccer, even after six months in France. I just can’t get used to calling it foot. I digress. Here in Loches, Oli is playing more than ever. Even the rec teams at his level are pretty serious. Two 1-1/2 hour practices a week as well as a game, and they have to earn their spots on one of the three tiered teams each week based on their play at the practices and previous weekend’s game. The culture around the game here is really interesting, even at the local level. The whole town is excited and involved. Our men’s teams play every weekend at the Stade, and there is always a crowd. The concession will be in full swing, selling beer and wine, coffee and tea, and even vin chaud in the winter. As for the kids teams, their game day is almost …