Saturday, April 29, 2017

March Wanderings - Along the river Indre

The river Indre holds a beauty and charm that does not readily reveal itself. It wends its way though the shadows of the forest, breaking into rivulets and streams, then rejoining into glittering ponds. Dotted along its length watermills capture its small drops, transforming the gentle but incessant flow into a means for grinding flour, the base ingredient for our most basic food, bread, the staff of life.

Nameless chateaux and manor houses rub shoulders with troglodyte homes.

Delightful homes spanning many centuries and various degrees of modesty...

There is a very famous castle at Azay-le-Rideau, but having visited it several times before I chose to explore the surroundings instead. In the heart of the village is the church of Saint Symphorien. Parts of the facade retain stonework dating back to the 9th century. The church went through many phases of construction, with the most recent being from the 16th century.

Beyond Azay, following the Indre up-river I came to the village of Saché, a place that has attracted artists for many generations. Honoré de Balzac stayed here often as a guest of the owners of the Chateau de Saché.
Alexander Calder settled in Saché and made it his home for the last 13 years of his life.

The village has a small but delightfully muscular church.

The bicycle ride from Saumur to Azay-le-Rideau was more than I could accomplish as a round trip in one day. So I spontaneously decided to stay the night at a Bed & Breakfast I found just outside Azay. This allowed me two days to explore further up the river Indre, reaching Saché at my farthest point. Here are a few photos of the B&B at which I stayed.

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