We woke up the next morning and we were sad to say goodbye to Saint Cyprien as it was a lovely stay in the area. We felt so blessed to be able to live in a village that was so quaint, so beautiful, so welcoming, and so immersed in mediaeval history.Deb went out for a run before everyone got up and came back to let me know that there was the Sunday market going on. The whole time we were in SC it was pretty sleepy, and the stores were sometimes open, sometimes not. More not than they were. Except the grocery stores, they were always open during business hours. Which was good, because that is where the wine was. Oh, ya, and the food to feed the children. Wilson savoured some Moroccan tea since we are headed there in a few days (well, I am actually sitting at our Kasbah (and rockin’ it), in the mid-day heat trying to catch up on our blog adventures), bought some amazing fresh pastries, and fresh produce to take in the car for the drive to Langeais.
We wanted to head toward Langeais, and we were looking forward to spending the night in our bed and breakfast which was right beside the Chateau de Langeais, and as a bonus was that it had a tree house and a playground in the walls of the castle.
We were also looking forward to seeing Bruno and Flo for dinner at their house just outside of town. If you read my last post you would know that I sat beside Bruno on the plane ride from Toronto to Paris as we began this adventure. He gave us a lot of tips for where to go, want to see you, what kind of wine to drink, and he did not disappoint!
It was kind of a standard drive along the way and we stuck to the highway to cut an hour off of our travel time. We stopped along the highway to stretch our legs and to fill the car up with gas.
When we pulled up to the gas pumps, there was no attendant or gas station office/stand where an attendant would be. So, we had to use our credit card activate the pump. As a point of security, we are really trying not to pay at the pump with our credit card so it would not be skimmed and we would be up the creek without a paddle. Or a card if you want to be literal. However, I really didn’t have a choice as I wanted to activate the pump as the kids and Deb were going into the house to use the loo.
So I put our credit card into the machine and started to fill the car up. The main rest stop, kind of like an En Route thing on the 400 series highways, had wifi so Deb checked her email while she was in there. We are getting notifications for every credit card transaction that we do, so she was able to see that we were charged for the gas at the gas pump already.
To her surprise, the total for our fill up which was only half a tank (that I thought I paid €32 for) was $191 Canadian! I can’t believe that I have been scammed already! I tried really hard to find the phone number to call the credit card company to call them and figure out what went on, and possibly cancel our credit card and put the wheels in motion to get a new one. I looked online, looked on the back of the card, and both places said to call collect. However, I couldn’t figure out how to make a collect call in France. Aaarrrggg!
One of the things we can tap into is Wifi calling, which means that calls are free when we are on wifi. With Wifi calling, our cell phone thinks we are in Montreal based on location services on the phone, so that means I can call the toll free number that is the one that you call if you are in Canada. Bonus!
I get an agent on the line and he tells me that the payment has not been processed, phew! He then went on to tell me that this was standard procedure, and that gas stations normally over charge international credit cards as a way of ensuring that they get the money. That makes no sense to me or Deb but whatever. We will just try to keep an eye on our online statements I guess and pray we don’t have to get new credit cards (update, it didn’t get processed at the $191…second phew!)
Back on the highway after that one hour detour, and we finally arrive in Langeais in the late afternoon, find our awesome BnB, and head over to the Chateau de Langeais to have a look around. The kids are spent and they just want to run around rather than look at the castle.
Inside was well kept
[/caption]Inside was well kept and full of medieval furniture and tapestries. According to Bruno, this castle was once on the frontier of France, but after there was a change of the border location, it lost its stature as a watchguard castle. The Chateau de Langeais was the first place to have a stone building for a dungeon. Prior to this they were made out of wood.
After it lost its border
[/caption]After it lost its border status, it then was a place of residence for the upper echelon and then, similar to other castles after the renaissance and medieval times, it fell into disrepair. It stayed that way until it was bought by a private businessman 100 years ago and the castle has been restored and is beautiful again.
There is a large park with a playground for the kids and an awesome tree fort to play in. Except for a strange man in the tree fort that was there without kids. That freaked Lulu out a bit.
Bruno actually made his way into the castle grounds and found us by the tree fort. He is a grade six teacher at the local school, so he knew where he would find kids on a castle adventure!
We jumped in our cars and headed over to see is we could see the Palais de Azay which was 10 minutes away. This is a beautiful castle that has a lot of Italian features and was inspired by Da Vinci and Michaelangelo. It was closing up so we couldn’t take a stroll around the grounds. Oh well…
We went to the wine cave and bought a couple bottles of the local wine, Chinon, which is reportable very good by my sisters account and Brian Markham’s account. They were spot on…they were amazing.
On the way home, Bruno took Wilson and I down the backstreets and we picked some freshly fallen apples and pears, and headed back to his house for supper.
It was a fantastic visit. They have a lovely home with a peach tree out in the front yard and a big backyard for the kids to run around in. They also had fun playing in the hammock that was there too. Wish I had brought ours along on the trip 😉
We had a local cheese made from fresh basil that is only available during the summer months , a lovely curry chicken, and a homemade fruit tart that was delicious.
Thank you Bruno and Flo for opening your home to us. The kids said it reminded them of our home and it was nice to visit a place that is lived in and full of love, which is different than apartments and hotel rooms.
That being said our bed and breakfast was outstanding (L’Ange Est Reveur). Everything was dressed up and decorated in nouveau antique style with a very large comfortable bed for the two girls to sleep while the two boys had the single beds.
It was a short but pleasant stay in Langeais, and we are off to Dinan tomorrow in the Bretagne, otherwise known as Brittany, area of France, a place that holds a lot of pride for Canada as it is the location where Juno Beach is. Really looking forward to this….