Paris to Amboise in mid September

Aug 22nd, 2013, 04:11 PM
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If you make it to Amboise, then visit the chateau...the chapel there is so lovely and intimate. It is said to be da Vinci's burial spot. The chateau also is where poor king Charles VII forgot to duck when walking though a passageway and smacked is head (and died from it).

Not sure of your total time there, but Chenonceau is so gorgeous and one of my favorite places in France.
denisea is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2013, 08:28 AM
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It's BLWAH, one syllable and definitely not Blah>

I've heard French folks says this word many times and the rolling l sound is very hard to many non-French - St Cirq has it right with BLWAH but the way the l is pronounced is hard to convey - it is almost like a stutterer who do with the L - echo it - a really weird word for non-French to say IME.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2013, 08:47 AM
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Kids that age will love climbing the ancient Pagoda of Chanteloup just a few miles out of Amboise in the countryside - the only remnant of a once vast Loire chateau - which was pulled down in the late 1700s or early 1800s disassembled and sold for parts to pay back taxes or some such story - the pagoda was left - it reflects a fascination with things Chinese when the chateau was first built.

Kids can climb the pagoda - could hit on your way out of town.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 24th, 2013, 09:37 AM
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Amboise has hidden gems like its row of trogloydyte houses - houses built into the limestone cliffs along the Loire and behind the chateau - like the UNESCO World Heritage Site one in the link above - so check out the tiny back street that few tourists stumble on just south of the chateau to see a row of troglodyte houses - some are even Gites that you can rent out!

Amboise - many hidden gems that many tourists never stumble upon - I have had the fortune to spend many days in Amboise ambling around and there is always a pleasant surprise it seems.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 24th, 2013, 10:37 PM
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Thank you for the information! Wow! You're right, my kids definitely enjoy the pagoda. The Chateau and chapel in Amboise are on our short list in town. And I was only remotely aware of cave homes in France, much less right in Amboise! There's an interesting article on them here:

StCirq, I'm glad you suggested Oradour-sur-Glane. It's one of the places I'm hoping to visit during the Sarlat/Castelnaud leg of our journey. I came across an article about one of the few living survivors, and it was engrossing. Thank you for suggesting it, as I didn't have the name in my list of notes and will be looking it up before long.

This kind of information is very helpful in determining how we can use our time and thus better understand our transportation needs. Thank you again for your insights; I'm very grateful.
NutWithACamera is offline  
Aug 25th, 2013, 05:56 AM
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Regarding to pronunciation of words in a foreign language, are you familiar with Google translation?
For example, to hear the French pronunciation of "blois", go to and click on the speaker icon on the French side (left hand side). If your computer can play audio file, you'll hear the audio for that word in French.
Reading54 is online now  
Aug 25th, 2013, 09:41 AM
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Pronunciation is pretty obvious, often. For example, even if you don't know French, many people would certainly know or have heard of the French word "roi" for King. You would never pronounce that "rah". It's the same diphthong. I suppose if you don't know French, you might not know the words loi, croix, foie, or bois as much. But it's the same pronunciation as Amboise, obviously, also, so you would have to ask how to pronounce both if them if you didn't know how that diphthong was pronounced in French.
Christina is online now  
Aug 25th, 2013, 11:02 AM
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good point, Christina.

I was trying to think of an english word with that sound, but as you say, most people have heard the word "roi" pronounced.

and unlike english, french pronunciation is pretty standard.
annhig is offline  
Aug 25th, 2013, 04:19 PM
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And of course the most famous of the Loire castles - Chenonceau is just a few miles from Amboise - thru a lovely forest - if kids can ride on fairly flat side roads thru the forest that could be quite a trip.I did it with my son when we was about 11. If you get a car it is of course an easy short drive.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 26th, 2013, 09:01 AM
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If driving along the Loire if you see a 'Champignons' sign it means that you can visit a mushroom farm inside one of the troglydyte buildings hewn into the limestone rideges that parallel the Loire - see them growing in the depths of the caves and sample product and buy some too.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 26th, 2013, 01:01 PM
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and though you will see Leonardo's many inventions - or models of them at the Clos Luce - including many that never flew - Leonardo left his heart in the local parish church where you can pay homage to it and him.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 26th, 2013, 01:25 PM
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Meanwhile all of you have told the OP to go all the way to Tours to rent a car when they can easily rent one at the SNCF station in Blois and not have to do any backtracking to get to Amboise.
Dukey1 is offline  
Aug 26th, 2013, 06:41 PM
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OP said <

It's okay, Dukey1 . You're right, but they're responding mainly to discussion about the post-Amboise portion of our trip and little side-trip things that would be interesting for me and the kids. We don't need a car for the 2 nights we stop over in Amboise itself. There are so many nuances to an adventure like this (see my other, more recent post about why we're crossing the pond), and I'm delighted with the good fodder this 'brain picking' has yielded!
NutWithACamera is offline  
Aug 29th, 2013, 01:45 PM
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Any suggestions for leaving via train from Paris Austerlitz? I think I've read somewhere that it's tricky. Does the day of the week impact that very much?>

Tricky in what ways? Austerlitz the station is one of the smallest of Paris' mainline stations and easily managed - in the past few years it has been near completely rebuilt so it is user friendly - if you mean the chance of getting on trains then nearly never - I take trains from Austerlitz all the time - trains that go to Amboise and you can always board those trains even if by chance they are full - worst scenario go first class where there is rarely a 1/4 of the seats full. No problem getting on trains and you can make a seat reservation if you wish but nearly no one does on this route.
PalenQ is offline  
Aug 29th, 2013, 05:31 PM
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Here's a little more info with photos on Oradour-sur-Glane...we visited last year. It is quite a moving experience. Hopefully they've cleaned up my blood at the Limoges train station.

maitaitom is offline  
Aug 30th, 2013, 09:31 AM
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I spent a few days in Amboise several years ago.Stayed at the gorgeous Manoir Les Minimes, best dinner of the trip was at Le Parvis on the main street. But the highlight was an early morning balloon ride with Balloon Revolution--floated over Chenonceau, etc. Then later, we drove to Chenonceau and saw it from the ground--fantastic. (sorry,I don't know how to do that as a hyperlink)
bsconway is offline  
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