Thursday, September 29, 2016

Day 11 April 23, 2016 Amboise, France

This morning we toured the Renaissance style of Château d' Amboise. This former Medieval castle was remodeled in the Renaissance to a Royal residence. The Gothic chapel contains the final resting place of Leonardo da Vinci's last home. We also discovered the Château du Clos Luce, Leonardo da Vinci's last home. Here during the final years of his life he completed some of his most treasured works, The Mona Lisa, The Virgin and Child with Saint Anne, and the Saint John the Baptist. 

Afterwards we had free time for lunch on our own, before continuing on to the Château de Chenonceau. This truly spectacular Château and former watermill that spans the Cher Rive, was turned into a palace by the French King Francis 1st for his Mistress Diane de Poitier.

Château d' Amboise built in the late 9th century

The Gothic chapel contains the final resting place of Leonardo da Vinci.

the resting place

Now photos of the inside of the Château d' Amboise!

inside of gabled windows

furniture that dates back hundreds of years

beautiful fireplace mantle


view out one of the windows

the music

the rooftop to see the gardens

a stairwell

another beautiful window

I don't think Leonardo is too happy with me sitting there! He was a guest of King Francis 1st in Château d' Amboise in December 1515. He used an underground tunnel to get to and from Château du Clos Luce, which we will tour next in the blog.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Day 10 Disembarkation! On to the Loire Valley! Tours, France-First Stop

all our luggage on the gang plank

the lobby of the ship

Today we disembarked our ship in Bordeaux, said our goodbyes to the crew and staff, and traveled by TGV High Speed Train to Tours, France. This charming medieval city is in the heart of the Loire Valley. It offers the best of French lifestyle with medieval streets teeming with art, history, ancient buildings and tasty cuisine. We had time to stop at a lively restaurant for lunch on our own and then enjoyed a walking tour.


some of our close buddies on the cruise

this is just my food-both pics-they all helped me it

serenading guests (for money, although he didn't ask)

my wine with lunch-rosé all day

We were eating lunch in Tours admiring the old buildings surrounding the square where we were.

Tours has a lot to offer though much of it was bombed in WWII. The attractive half-timbered medieval quarter around Place Plumereau (the square with busy pubs and restaurants offering open-air seating-where we ate) has been carefully restored, and Tour's grand Saint Gatien cathedral ranks among France's finest.

Saint Martin de Tours

written in Latin I'm sure

we found shopping all along the streets-the more modern area

Tours has a distinct energy, thanks to the university students who make up one fourth of its population and help to fill the many cafés, bars, and eateries in the pedestrian-only Vieile Ville.

Afterwards we continued by bus to our hotel in Amboise to check in for the evening. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Day 9 continued-Captain's Gala Dinner onboard the AmaDolce

After shopping and touring on foot the city of Bordeaux, we needed to get ready for the Chef's Gala Dinner. Don and I found a salon for me to get a blowout. It was funny trying to communicate to them what I needed, but once they understood, it was wonderful!

ready for the gala

Irene and Phil from West Virginia

Elia, our cruise director

our captain, Louis Devaux

Ed Sbragia and Kathy, his daughter-in-law

the appetizer

the salad

another appetizer to choose

the entree I chose

the dessert

2013 Château Macquin $17 a Bordeaux blend

2014 Château Marjosse, Grand Vin de Bordeaux, $12, a Bordeaux blend white

Of course, on every cruise ship during the captain's dinner, the whole kitchen staff, chef and all servers, etc. parade around the dining room and this was no exception. It was so much fun!

Hotel Manager, David Crisp

the kitchen staff and executive chef, Bogdan Dumitrascu, on the left

Music by Musician Panche and dancing in the Main Lounge followed an amazing night of friends, food, fellowship, and wine.