We went on holiday. A roadtrip to be exact. It was actually 5 citytrips in 3 weeks.
Le Mans was our first stop. The holiday started: yeah!
Actually make that a triple YEAH! People who know me, know that I haven’t had the best trackrecord in that area and it’s a big accomplishment that I actually was able to go without any freak-accidents .
Le Mans is situated in the Loire region, on the Sarthe river.
Side note: If you go on a weekend trip, please don’t go on Sunday and Monday. Our experience was that a lot of the restaurants were closed so your choice was very limited. Also, if you go in the summer, keep in mind that there are a lot of restaurateurs that go on holiday for a couple of weeks and close their restaurants during that time.
- Le Perigord Gourmand: This restaurant specializes in everything that has to do with duck, which is a speciality of the region by the way.
- La Ciboulette is a very charming restaurant, not very big, so it’s wise to make a reservation. Great food, great service and well priced.
La Nuit des Chimères
This is a light festival that takes place once a year for a couple of weeks in the summer, where a someof historic buildings like the Saint-Julien Cathedral are lit up. The lightinstallation usually tells a story. It’s very impressive to see live.
Along the Sarthe River is where royalty has built their castles for decades, mainly because boats were how transportaion was quickest. The bigger castles were usually built with a high lookout tower as to see their enemies coming (on water or on land) . This is why this region is full of beautiful castles. I’ve visited 2 of them.
We chose this castle to visit due to the location and the fact that it had a garden. We did not know that there were still people living there, which made the visit even more special. The fortress was initially built to defend Anjou from the invasions of the Normans and the English between the 10th and the 11th century. Later it was converted from a fortress to a residence in the 15th century. From then on, each resident of the castle kept rebuilding and restoring which makes for a very well kept and somewhat modernised building. At the moment it is inhabited by Count and Countess de Nicolaÿ.
And here’s a sneak peak at how these French Royals live
This castle was remarkably bought by a non royal couple (a doctor and an heiress to an iron and steel company) in 1906. they renovated it and recreated the gardens. This is the most beautiful thing about this castle; the gardens.