23 June

The day we departed for Amboise marked the first day of the biking portion of our trip. This leg of the trip was only 40km, an easy distance to go, especially on our e-bikes! I said it before and I’ll say it again, I love my e-bike. It makes traveling by bike so much more enjoyable. 

We stayed at a Guesthouse called Le Capitainerie.  It is a house in the neighborhood of the château, so a very good location. The timber frame architecture and the decor made for a charming stay. The hosts were very welcoming and made us feel like guests in their house. Breakfast was in the dining room at a large common table where the host served everything as she made it including a delicious omelet. We definitely made a good choice with this hotel.

We got to know Leonardo Da Vinci

Amboise is where Leonardo Da Vinci spent the last three years of his life, 1516-1519. In 1516 King Francois I, being a big fan of Da Vinci, invited him to Amboise and named him “Premier Painter, Engineer, and Architect to the King” and offered him the château Le Clos Lucé as his residence.  The château is now a museum dedicated to the famous genius. 

​When Da Vinci came to Amboise he brought three of his paintings, one of which was the Mona Lisa. A copy of it is in his art studio along with The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, and St. John the Baptist. He worked on these paintings until his final breath. Other rooms in the museum showcase some of his inventions. It was amazing to see what all he thought of. He developed an Archimedes screw to hoist up water from a river, a tank with multiple cannons, a gear system that was the forerunner to the modern transmission system in cars, and countless other things. This was an amazing visit. I gained a whole new appreciation for Leonardo.

A Picture Perfect Evening

Later that evening, after dinner and having left Kathrin resting comfortably in our hotel room, I went back out to get some photographs at sunset. While walking around town in the area of the chateau I noticed a balloon passing by. It flew right over the chateau’s chapel. Later, as I was crossing the river to get a shot of the chateau I saw the balloon lying haphazardly on the riverbank. Don’t worry, no one was hurt. I also saw a few more balloons slowly descending…in a controlled manner.

The walk across the bridge was worth it, the evening sun shining on the chateau was ​magnificent. 

You can see more of my pictures from this trip on my Flickr page.

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