Tuesday was another public holiday in France, so as per tradition, we saw some vintage military vehicles on display at the river cruise entrance for the Chateau of Chenonceau.
The cruise was a peaceful drift on the river until we got to the iconic halls of the chateau that span across the river.
Walking through the chateau, I felt the sense of history in the walls, mixed with the heroism of the owners who used it as safe passage across the border for refugees during World War 2.
The next day we left Tours for Blois, a town that is conveniently close to Chambord Chateau and another base for a bike trip along the Loire river.
The new hotel we stay in is a few streets away from Blois Chateau and Chambord is luckily serviced by a shuttle bus.
A giant castle with so many ornate chimneys that it looks like a chess board, still stands in the original hunting grounds of years gone by. Room after room, it felt like a fairy tale journey.
Wine and dine
Before heading the Chambord, we came across the local speciality food and wine shop, at the riverside of Blois, France Terroir, where we were welcomed by Karl Galmiche. Since we were on our way to meet the shuttle bus, he invited us to come back to do some of the tasting options on the menu. Since we could tell that he was passionate about his products, we were sure to visit and I am glad I did.
For the first time since coming to France I had the experience of tasting the best of a local area, all in one place and with a charming, knowledgeable host, eager to teach us about the items.
Each wine we had was good, but the standout red for me was the L'olibrius. Aromas of the chateau's wood floors and fireplaces came back to my mind as I sipped while enjoying plates of cheese, tarrines and chacuterie.
The centre table of the shop is a perfect place to mingle with the locals. We got to meet two French ladies who, through my broken French, were all to happy to talk about the food and travel in both our countries.
One of the suprises in France Terrior was the addition of South African biltong on the platter, to add something different for the French visitors.
At the end of the night I felt so accomplished for having my dream of a truly French cuisine adventure fulfilled.