Sunday 12 October
A rest day in Tours, we went to the local produce markets to help with the weekly shopping, and enjoy the local atmosphere. After lunch with seven different cheeses on the fromage plate, a result of our market visit, our host suggested the other guest and I catch the train to visit Chateau de Chaumont. This was my first French intercity train – French trains are a little different from Indonesian trains, perhaps an understatement – they are bloody marvelous!
Perhaps as it was Sunday, or perhaps that this is just a lovely chateau, it was rather crowded with tourists. We bought tickets, added a stamp to my Credencial, and I opted for the audio tour. I hadn’t had time in the other chateaus I had visited to take the tours, and usually enjoy them. Today I had a little more time. Chateau de Chaumont was once the home of Catherine de Medici, and is fully furnished and in exquisite condition in its shape as a museum. The kitchen was a wonder to behold, the BEST kitchen I’ve ever seen, encompassing five rooms, with giant mechanical rotisserie over the wood fire, that could probably roast a whole venison, and numerous shinny cooper pots and pans. I wanted to move in.
After looking around we wandered the gardens, including a lovely maze. I’d always wanted to have my own maze as a kid, so this was a childhood fantasy come true. I was a little concerned that if I went too far in I’d get lost and miss the train, but the hedges had been cut really low, so it was easy to find your way.
We made our way to the train station, where we waited with the only other passengers, a mother and her adult daughter. On the electronic board, it announced that our train was delayed by 15 mins. A train arrived minuites later, but my Coushsurfing fellow guest informed us all that it wasn’t our train, as ours was delayed. When the train departed, the board removed our train from the list – it had been our train, only seconds late. The next train was two hours later. We chatted to the other passengers, and soon were laughing an having fun, the time passed very quickly. By the time the train arrived and we were back in Tours, my fellow guest had decided he wanted to be adopted by the woman. We said our au revoirs, and headed back to our host’s for a late dinner.