Room With A View – Conflans-sur-Anille

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Sorry for the dearth of posting; we’ve been out and about quite a lot the last couple of days. I’ll do some more in-depth posts about our accommodations and experiences after we’re home, but will provide some quick updates, photos and observations throughout the rest of here trip until then.

Driving in France has been quite challenging at times, especially out in the countryside where roads (and often maps) are not completely marked. We’d have been “tartines” without the GPS, though it has its own limitations and often gets confused in roundabouts.

After leaving Versailles, we continued southwest, stopping midway at Chartres to see the cathedral, known for its stained glass windows. The cathedral is on a hill and visible for miles around.

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The windows did not disappoint, though it’s hard to convey the beauty and sheer immensity of them in photos.

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With a little help from Madame Gipes (my nickname for the GPS) we arrived at Chateau de la Barre where we’ve stayed the last couple of days. This is a private chateau, owned by the Count and Countess de Vanssay and has been in his family for the last 700 years! The Count and Countess are lovely and down-to-earth, and the history of this place (which I’ll describe in some detail later) is amazing.

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During our stay here, we also visited the old Plantagenet City in Le Mans, and I’ll also share more on that later, but here I am on one of the old streets.

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Have to wrap this up now so we can finish packing up and head out on the next leg of the trip…

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A bientot!

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22 Comments

  1. April 26, 2014 / 2:38 am

    Am I first? It all looks delightful Susan, Chartres is spectacular, the chateau looks luxuriantly comfortable and you looks tres francais in the last shot. Have fun!

  2. April 26, 2014 / 2:44 am

    So beautiful and charming…the windows and the cozy room are just magnificent. Glad everything is going well so far…it looks awesome!

  3. April 26, 2014 / 4:58 am

    My dh, who did all the driving in France, had similar issues. He says: you need to learn to submit to French signage. You don’t look for road numbers as in USA, but look for signs indicating the next TOWN on your route. Figure out the TOWNS you will go through to get to your destination. The signs will lead you to each town and on to the next.

    Our GPS drove us crazy, pronouncing “rue” as “ree”!

    That room is so pretty.

  4. April 26, 2014 / 5:35 am

    Gorgeous! What accommodation you’ve landed in, an experience on its own, even if you never went outside. . .
    Sympathetic about the driving, although I’d second what frugalscholar says above. We never did figure out our rental car GPS, but then we don’t use it at home so too much learning curve . . . We found that as long as you know the names of the upcoming towns (via the maps, yes, it’s important to have a good one, in a manageable format that doesn’t require an entire front seat to unfold).
    I’ve been to Chartres a few times and would love to go back.

  5. Laurie
    April 26, 2014 / 5:42 am

    You are teasing us! Can’t wait to hear more about the trip, and about how the clothing choices have been working out.

  6. Susan
    April 26, 2014 / 7:06 am

    Susan, we did find when we were driving in the Loire Valley that the roads were not well marked. As this was 15 years ago, we used a map, but found it more helpful to just follow signs with arrows pointing toward the town or place we wanted to go. The signs were more helpful than the maps. Once we figured that out, driving was not so difficult.

  7. April 26, 2014 / 7:13 am

    You do know how to find the best accommodations – the chateau looks tres belle! I love that teacup, and the tapestry behind the bed. Such elegance!

    I loved Chartres – such a beautiful little town, and the cathedral was like a jewel box. The photo of you on the street is perfect, but I’ve always been mystified by how deserted French villages can be. Everyone must do their shopping at one time, and then they all close their doors again. I noticed it especially across the north of France.

  8. April 26, 2014 / 7:17 am

    I’d just been wondering whether you were going to stop off at Chartres, knowing it was in that direction…

    For people only visiting Paris, it is easy to access via railway, and a nice daytrip.

    I love that toucan teacup.

  9. pilotapat
    April 26, 2014 / 7:33 am

    Love the travel pics and you look terrific!

  10. April 26, 2014 / 7:59 am

    I hope you’re having a wonderful time. I’ve never seen Chartres, and always wondered if I should make the trip. Sounds like yes:).

  11. Pauline Frost
    April 26, 2014 / 8:22 am

    Maps over GPS every time. Instead of a linear route you get the whole context of the landscape. With a map you actually know where you ARE as opposed to simply finding the next place to you want to stop. But then I’m a Geographer.

    • April 26, 2014 / 7:58 pm

      Pauline how well you put that! I taught Geography many moons ago, I adore maps and detest GPS, now I know why. 🙂

    • une femme
      April 26, 2014 / 10:57 pm

      Hi Pauline, I should add that I too adore maps and am using them along with the GPS. The problem we’ve run into with maps alone is that a) many of the smaller roads we’ve had to find are either not on the map or b) signage/directions conflicts with what the map appears to show. Especially driving at night, it’s been very good to get a sense of how far ahead we’ll need to make a turn for example.

  12. GingerR
    April 26, 2014 / 9:19 am

    We had a GPS in Spain and all was well once we got out of the city. As for in-city driving, we couldn’t get rid of the car fast enough. Street names were always hidden away from us.

    I think using a paper map leaves you with a better mental image of where you are, although if you’re truly lost it is nice to have the GPS said, “go here.”

  13. sybes1
    April 26, 2014 / 9:32 am

    Your trip looks wonderful! Yes, driving in France is a challenge but we found the signage better than in Italy. I’m impressed that you rented a car from CDG to drive out to Versailles on the first day–did you have to go through Paris? (probably not….)
    I’ve never seen Chartres–it looks amazing. And your accommodations look fantastic! How in the world did you find???
    Have a great time–you look marvelous! Sally

  14. tamerabeardsley
    April 26, 2014 / 10:48 am

    What a wonderful and transporting post! I am home this weekend, in the studio … so your share of your stunning locals is especially appreciated!

    You are dressed so perfectly for you adventure! I hope you continue to savor and enjoy your trip my dear! Thank you again for sharing your remarkable trip!

    xoxo
    Tamera

  15. Leslie
    April 26, 2014 / 11:40 am

    Thank you for taking the time to share with us! I’m along for the vicarious thrill and to relive my trip to the Loire.

  16. Roberta
    April 26, 2014 / 6:57 pm

    Yes, thank you for the gift of sharing your experience with us. Especially thank you for including yourself in one of the photos. It alll looks wonderful and you look beautiful! Such a spectacular place to be!

  17. April 27, 2014 / 11:44 am

    Ooh, that looks lovely! It’s a shame it’s turned kind of cold and damp over this side of the world, but I hope you’re having a fantastic, restful time anyway.

  18. April 27, 2014 / 11:22 pm

    Oh, thank you for posting! My grandfather defended Ecommoy in WW I and I do so want to see it and the surrounding area.

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