It took two and a half months, but we finally have bikes! Tours' transportation system, Fil Blu, has a rent-a-bike program for only 7 euros a month - a steal, considering it's roughly 15 euros a day to rent bikes at the bike shops. Sign us up!
It felt amazing to be back on a bike, although I do hate having to ride with traffic around the city. But never mind - we had another destination in mind this weekend - Villandry. It's a chateau situated along the River Cher, and you can bike there on the Loire a Velo path. For our fellow Greenvillians, it's incredibly similar to the Swamp Rabbit Trail.
It's also a bit further than our usual trip from the Children's Garden in downtown Greenville to Traveler's Rest. It was 28 miles round trip, and on the way back, I. though. I. would. die. We've been doing a ton of walking and our bodies are used to that, but the pedaling? Haha, no.
When we returned to Tours, we immediately took showers and went straight to dinner (an amazing three-course gourmet dinner, omg) because we knew that if we stopped, even for a minute, we would go right to sleep.
It was worth the pain, though (I think), because Villandry is stunning. Many of the chateaux have a fortress or military feel to them. Not Villandry. It would remind you more of someone's summer home. The gardens are easily its highlight, and they are all different and beautiful. However, they're all very formal and very French. I personally prefer the more natural English-style gardens, but these were beautiful. Pics below. And enjoy them, 'cause I'm not sure we're going to be biking back here again!
xoxo (and ouch),
E & B