Tick Tock around the Clock

I’m really not sure how many times I have said this but it is really unbelievable how quickly the time passes. It is already the end of February, and last Friday I celebrated 6 months in France! My two-week break  flew by and I have already been back to school for 3 days now. I have a lot to write about, notably the last two weeks, so here we go.

The first week of the vacation I stayed around Saumur and we took several afternoon trips which included a trip to the Mushroom Museum, le musée de pierre et lumière, le Chateau Brézé, Tours, and le Chateau d’Amboise as well as the zoo.

If you’re feeling a little lost, don’t worry, I am going to explain everything.

In this post you will find the two museums listed above and the pictures from Tours. The two Chateaus I will do in a second post so keep your eyes peeled!

I think the mushroom museum is pretty self-explanatory and I must say that I learned a few fun facts and there were some pretty cool looking mushrooms.

^ Pink Pleurote

Something I learned is that 85 % of white button mushrooms (the most common ones) cultivated in France are cultivated in and around Saumur because they are fertilized with horse manure (or so the story goes) and France is the world leader of high quality white button mushrooms  produced underground.

Next up is the museum of stone and light. This museum is in a cave and inside there are miniature statues of several churches, towns, villages and castles of the Loire Valley  carved out of limestone by the sculpteur, Philippe Cormand . More than 100 tons of stone were used for these statues. Here are just a few that we saw :

Saumur!

^ La Cathédral de Tours

We didn’t have a lot of time to see everything because the museum was closing but I tried to capture the detail that was put into these sculptures some of which it it took 6 months to finish.

Next stop: Tours

Tours is a fairly large city situated in the Loire Valley in western France. We spent the morning wandering around stopping at the various touristic sites and also taking the time to meander around the older part of the city.

First up: La (vrai) Cathédral Saint-Gatien de Tours

Whenever I walk into a cathedral I am just amazed by the sheer size and the beautiful architecture. It’s overwhelming to think about the hundreds of years of history that each one holds, all the people who have walked through the doors and all the different periods of history it has witnessed (I know that a cathedral is not a living thing but each one still  “witnesses” a lot)

This particular cathedral was built between the 12th and 16th centuries

With the picture above I tried to capture just how massif the cathedral really is. If you look closely there are people in the picture which I hope helps to give an idea of the dimensions.

I just love the stained glass windows

Next up: the Tower of Charlemagne

The tower represents what is left of the original Basilique of Saint Martin constructed during the 11th century and demolished in 1802. The tower was given its name because the 4th wife of Charlemagne, Luitgarde d’Alémanie,  is buried underneath.

The center of Tours is really beautiful, especially the older section.

I promise to write again soon!

have a great rest of the week!

-Em

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