Sunday 15th of July
Ingrandes to Angers: 4 hours 26 min, 67km
“I was woken up at 11pm last night to what sounded like a French revolution! From the number of bangs, I presumed it was a magnificent fireworks display (I was too tired to even lean out my tent and have a peek). The rest of the night was a restless one, I had some very strange dreams, including hanging out with the Queen of England and riding a giraffe.
The next morning my primary objective was to find a supermarket. I stood at the bridge looking across the river at the town of Ingrandes. Should I cross the 500m bridge or just continue along the route. Being a Sunday I was expecting it to be just as deserted as it was yesterday so I decided to head east along the route to the next town. 10 km later and I was back where I started. You see the next town had a Super U which the lady at the local tourist office, informed me would be closed. She told me what I was looking for was known as an Inter-marche and that there was one back in Ingrandes that is open on Sundays.
Stocking up on baguette, croissants and fruit, I set off once again. I took a leisurely ride along the river. What I enjoy most is passing through the quaint French towns. One can see what these towns look like by watching the Tour de France. The old stone buildings that rise straight up at the roads edges with high windows (flanked by their wooden shutters) looking down onto the cobblestone street below. It’s a photographer’s dream, if you have a thing for old buildings and rustic shutters.
I arrived in Angers and to my surprise many places were open. Angers is a beautiful town, with medieval sites all over the place. The main road is lined with brasseries, with cobblestone side streets leading off it. The place I most want to visit is the Chateau D’Angers, a predominant figure in the towns landscape. Being a non EU member entrance was not free, I considered trying to sneak in but figured that if no invading army had ever taken the castle, my chances were probably quite slim. Reluctantly, I handed over my €5.50 and strolled through the front entrance. I started by climbing one of the towers and then walking along the almost 1 kilometre of the castle wall. The view of the town was amazing. The river Maine, the cathedral and the houses with their slate roofs. The slate mined from nearby quarries and used as roofing tiles give rise to the nickname of ‘the black city’.
Within the citadel grounds are some beautifully kept gardens, a chapel and a gallery housing a tapestry known as the ‘Apocalypse Tapestry’, so named for its depiction of the apocalypse described in Revelations. This tapestry is huge! Almost 100m long by 4.5m high, it is quite a piece. Interestingly, the chapel is also considered a Sainte chapelle and supposedly houses a splinter from the true cross.
After an ice cream and a croissant, I returned to the Loire river to find a campsite. I will go back to Angers tomorrow and try again at getting a sim card.”