Olivier, from Paris, and newly retired since August 2019 has decided to travel!

Last week I spent four days in the region of Saumur with friends whom I haven’t seen for many years. The town is located in the west centre of France between Tours and Angers, in the region of the Chateaux de la Loire »

So, I rediscovered this region along « La Loire », the second French river and I invite you to discover with me, some of the main attractions of Saumur and its surroundings.

The Castle:
The castle is the emblem of the Town and dominates it and the river. It was a fortress transformed into a palace for the Anjou Dukes in during the 14 and 15 th centuries. The most famous was the king René but he never had a kingdom. He should have been King of Napoli & Sicily, but he never really became that. The castle is a very beautiful building above La Loire. Now it’s being converted into a museum.

The national riding school and the Cadre Noir de Saumur
Originating in the equestrian military tradition the « cadre noir de Saumur « now trains the teaching staff of the National Riding School. The masters contribute to the development of the French riding tradition through their public appearances. They are high quality shows of great majesty for anybody who loves horses or not.

Above the City, The river « la Loire »

You can walk, or ride along the river which appears like a calm and peaceful river but really a capricious river. In summer the level is very low but in winter the river overflows from its bed. La Loire was a major transport axis until the 19th century. The mariners ensured the supply, from town to town, of wine, fruit, salt, cereals and regional building materials. Valuable products imported from the world including spices and chocolate which were loaded at the port of Nantes.

The Vineyards:
The vineyards of Anjou and Saumur are the largest of the Loire Valley which is the third French wine region. The landscape is beautiful in spring or summer and you can follow the local wine route.

If you feel that the weather is hot and you are thirsty you can take a pause in a fresh wine cellar but be careful, somebody could ask you:

What do you prefer generally?
Dry or sweet?
Which colour do you prefer?
White, Rosé, Red
You can taste a glass of each and taste some famous wine 🍷 like Saumur-Champigny, Coteaux du Layon or sparkling Saumur Brut and Crémant de Loire.
If you have succumbed to the temptation 🥂. I warn you and I say like all serious Frenchman …« always in moderation »

Of course, if you don’t like wines, you can find a fresh Coca Cola at the supermarket. 😉

There are many other curiosities to discover. often in France we call this region, the Val de Loire or the sweetness of life and I think that is true and I love it.

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