Da Vinci would’ve thought of a better post title

As October draws to a close, I inch forward towards the end of my September ad-French-ure. Technically, this is the penultimate post for the series since parts 9 and 10 are about other countries. I hope you’re enjoying it as much as I’m enjoying sharing it with you. Like the holiday itself, it’ll be over all too soon…


One of the more popular subjects in this series so far has been about food, yet I haven’t shown you very many pictures of what we ate throughout the trip. I should be more proud than embarrassed, but I do feel a little shame in admitting that we spent most of the time “eating in” simply because we found the ordinary French food so delicious. As I already said before, even supermarket croissants were sublime.

Eating inside the close quarters of the mobiroom was an interesting affair – made even more so because under the table was where we kept the Apple iMac that we brought over from Australia as a gift for Jenny’s parents. So we don’t have any pictures of that. Therefore when we came across a picnic area (in the carpark of a strangely deserted aquarium) we took the opportunity to stretch our legs. It also afforded us a rare photo of one of our meals – fondue:

Who knew pieces of bread dipped in melted cheese could be so delicious!

Later that evening we continued on to Amboise (you actually pronounce the ‘s’ here because it has an ‘e’ after it – am-BWAH-ss). We found it difficult to locate the camping site but eventually discovered the tiny little carpark in some obscure back street. It was really small and cramped, but it was home for the night.

We managed to get a few evening shots, but most were blurry. This is about the only one that wasn’t:

Amboise in the evening, with its bridge that straddles the Loire river

The next morning, we set out for Clos Lucé. It’s not the chateau of Amboise (there is one, but we’re sick of chateaus now, aren’t we?) rather, it’s a nearby mansion where Leonardo da Vinci spent the last three years of his life. The place is now a sort of “Da Vinci museum” in his honour. It’s a shame that we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the buildings; there was a display with models of some of Leonardo’s famous inventions, created by IBM from some of the master’s original drawings.

We're a long way from Paris...

A garden. I'm sparing you more pictures of flowers

One of Leonardo's many flying contraptions: the whirly thingamebob

They seem to be enjoying this a little -too- much...

An omnidirectional tank

A wind-up wheel

Jenny getting some perspective on life

Getting in touch with our inner child


What all this has to do with Da Vinci I have no idea, but it was fun

I'm sure you would've done the same

A double-decker bridge

That evening, we discovered that there is a much nicer camping park on an island just outside of the city. We spent a much more relaxing evening there:

Another outdoors dinner - I made tomato fried rice and chicken stir fry

We also saw a whole heap of balloons being launched:

Preparing for lift-off

And up she goes...

Into the bright blue yonder

Free plug - you owe me one, www.balloonrevolution.com

There were heaps of them

And Jenny and I took a night stroll around the town:

The Chateau d'Amboise by night

Water under the bridge

The streets still look nice even when deserted, and all the shops are closed

Another busy street (actually, the nearby restaurants were doing a roaring trade)

Except for this pirate-themed "restaurant"... or is it?

Finally, I wanted to point out that the French have a funny way with words. Or alternatively, let’s just say there is a lot of room for misinterpretation between French and English:


I wonder what kind of service we would've gotten here

It saddens me to think that our tour of France will soon be over, but before that happens, there are a couple more interesting destinations…