I woke up relatively early and crept past the girls having their beauty sleep in the massive bed with draperies and a candleabre above the bed.  If angels had bedrooms, this would be it.  And my two angels were sleeping beautifully as I crept past them, grabbed the computer to do a little research, and my running gear to hit the road when the sun started to give light to the land.

I found the way out across the bridge over the Loire River and into some back country roads that passed apple orchards, with the apples just begging to be picked.  Man they looked amazing.  Oh well, left them hanging for their eventual gastronomic owners.  The sky was filled with cotton candy clouds and the sun poking through the sundowning sunflowers was just amazing.

Heading back into town, I found a sign that was meant for me.  The Castle of Nuts…for crazy folk like me!

We left Langeais in the morning after an amazing breakfast at the BnB that was loaded with homemade bread, yogurt, pastries, jams, and there was lots of it.

Back in the Trenholmobile and off to Chateau d’Usse. Better known as Sleeping Beauty’s Castle. This is the castle that has been reported to have inspired Charles Perrault when he wrote the fairy tale, and later went on to inspire some of the castles that Disney created.

We arrived pretty much at opening time which was great as there weren’t any tour buses yet, so no mobs of people to navigate around.  The castle from the outside was spectacular and what you would imagine for a castle of Sleeping Beauty’s stature.

The grounds were immaculately kept by a team of gardeners and the building looked like it was in a continual state of restoration to bring it back to its glory days.

We toured around the outside of the castle and played in the gardens to start and then we headed inside to see the contents.  To our surprise, well at least mine, the contents were more of the late 1800s, early 1900s period and they had them dressed up on manequins that made it look fairly fake and unimpressive of that they were trying to display.  One impressive thing that they had done to the castle was that there was an underground tunnel created that would take the owners to the neighbouring town, as an escape route, or maybe a way to get groceries if the weather was bad.

Along the top floor of the castle there was a reinactment of the Sleeping Beauty story which was nice, featuring items of the people who last inhabited the area, but it was still a bit cheesy even though the castle itself was beautiful.

There were horse stables, a dungeon to look around, and then a small church on site.  Lulu was loving every minute of basking in the glow of Sleeping Beauty.  Mission accomplished.

Recreating a monumental kiss that we did in South Africa many years ago…still have the passion!

We jumped in the car and headed further north towards Dinan and we stopped along the way in a small village for a grocery store picnic (aka go buy some fresh bread, cheese, cold mean, some drinks and fruit) and then pushed onwards.

When we arrived in Lanvalley, which is on the south side of the river that divides Lanvalley and Dinan, and we find our AirBnB which is a stones throw away from the old port village of Dinan.  We unpack and have a quick dinner of Chicken a la Herbes de Provence de la Daddy and we go off for our evening walk.

The old village of Dinan is even moreso straight out of Beauty and the Beast, with the buildings having more Swiss/Austrian influence with large timbers and stucco walls and steeeeep cobblestone roads leading up the side of the hill the town was built on.  The sun was setting, so we thought it would be best to head home for bed as tomorrow was going to be a big day of driving around to go see Mont Saint Michel and Juno Beach all in one day.

Seriously, can’t you imagine Belle singing as she walks up this street…”Bonjour, hello, I must be dreaming…”
The kids walking up the steep hill, not singing and dancing so much…
An artist working on his latest creating late into the night.
Another cotton candy sunset from the riverbank in Dinan.
The other direction down the river.