On the Loire and heading home

Following our stay on Noirmoutier (see the blog here) we had to return to the UK rather than go further south as we had originally planned.  An obvious stop en route was the Loire which we have stayed on before.  Looking at the map and our possible routes we hit on a site at Montjean-sur-Loire.  The campsite there was very pleasant indeed.  The town itself had few shops or facilities particularly and the main road could be rather busy with traffic.  In part this was because Montjean-sur-Loire is a bridging point on the Loire.  We are still not fans of cycling on main roads so we were cautious where we went with the bikes.  However there was a very pleasant cycle run to Chalonnes-sur-Loire which was the next larger town up river.

As readers of this blog will know I do from time to time find statues, sculptures and the like and find myself caught up in public art.  We certainly don’t recall going anywhere which had quite so many such items in such a small area before.  Many of them were actually along the banks of the Loire itself.  There was a wide variety from the humourous to the serious and covering all kids of materials.  It certainly added to our enjoyment of the visit here.

Again based on the possible routes back we stopped off for a couple of nights at La Ferté-Vidame.  Arriving from the direction we did the first thing we saw was the ruin.  It really is very large (& very ruined!) as can be seen from the image above.  I guess coming from the UK we found it hard to believe that such a major structure could be simply left like this.  There was a tourist office by the entrance however it was closed so we simply wandered around.  The building (interesting in itself) is set in an large area of parkland and ponds which were lovely to stroll around.  While there were not many explicit cycle routes nearby the roads were generally quiet.  We did a trip around the area and passed the ancient church shown above.  Almost completely isolated it was one of those extremely tranquil places.  The town of La Ferté-Vidame (some way away from the church) had some great architecture but was otherwise not that exciting and so we headed back.  We did spend a couple of nights before we crossed over to the UK.  However it is one of those places I’m fairly sure we will return to and so I’ll save that blog for another trip.