Posted by: kathandroger | October 3, 2013

On the tourist trail

My mum and dad have now visited us many times and on each visit we try to visit a new place, so we are starting to run out of places! But we’ve managed to come up with a couple of corkers over the past week (helped by the wonderful weather!). Last Friday we visited Chateau de Cande, just to the south of Tours. Begun in the 15th century this place has a fascinating history, most notably as the location of the wedding of Edward and Mrs Simpson in 1937. Many of the rooms are still laid out as they were for the famous occasion, including the wedding breakfast. It is amazing to stand there and imagine back to that time when just a handful of guests joined the former king and his double divorcee of a bride. The Windsors aside, it is a beautiful place with magnificent grounds and the most fantastic organ! I’m not usually big on organs, but this was a whopper, so to speak. Occupying 3 stories it is one of only a few of its kind in the world and makes the most wonderful sound throughout the chateau.

Then today we headed off to somewhere in the middle of nowhere to visit the Maurice Dufresne museum. M. Dufresne was from a farming family, but after a string of jobs, set himself up as a scrap merchant. In doing so he developed a passion for collecting things – often big things, like steam engines, planes, cars, tractors…and a mobile guillotine from the revolution! He collected for 40 years from all around the world before finding a suitable place to house his collection (an old paper mill on the outskirts of Azay-le- Rideau).  The place is enormous and houses more than 3000 exhibits from steam engines, tractors (lots of) to all sorts of agricultural machines, cars, bikes, weaving looms…and a mobile guillotine, circa 1789!! (note the parts painted red to hide the blood!)

As at Chateau de Cande we were virtually the only people there. Rounded off by a fine lunch at the museum’s restaurant, it certainly was a grand day out!


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