Today I went on an adventure with French friends. It was an enjoyable day, but also an exhausting day because we spoke exclusively in French. My head felt like it was going to explode for most of the day. Our adventure began with a visit to le Grand Marché in Amboise. This was not my first visit to the town of Amboise. In 2007 when I was studying abroad in Tours I took a “field trip” to the Château d’Amboise. It was my first château and I had a great time visiting.
Unlike when I was a student in 2007 I have much more consistent access to a car, making it easier to venture outside of Tours. From what I was told, the market in Amboise was one of the biggest in the area. It was interesting, much more of a flea market than a farmer’s market. We walked through the whole market but did not find anything to buy. My favorite part of the market: seeing all the dogs out with their families. There is definitely an abundance of puppies throughout this area of France.
After venturing through the market we wandered around the “downtown” area and visited a few shops. There were a few cute shops, but nothing overwhelmingly adorable. We decided to get lunch and spent about half an hour wandering around Amboise trying to decide on a restaurant. Eventually, we ended up at one of the first restaurants we visited.
Eating lunch in France is something that I am still not quite used to as it is a very relaxed and leisurely experience. Lunch can easily last 2 or 3 hours. Seriously, who has time for that?!? Another aspect of lunch I am still trying to get used to is the copious amount of wine that is drunk. For example, today we had 4 bottles of wine with lunch. Four bottles! While I am still getting used to the French way of living it is always an enjoyable experience. Lunch was delicious, especially dessert.
After lunch we wandered around for a little bit longer. It was a perfect day to just walk around and take in the sights. The sun was shining, the temperature was perfect, and I was surrounded by friends. We visited a church in Amboise (I read the name and made a mental note to remember it, but have since forgotten). What I found most interesting was that the church just reopened in 2010, so it was something that I did not see the last time I was in Amboise.
After a bit of walking we went back to the car for our trip back to Tours. Our adventure was concluded with drinks at a friend’s house. It was an extremely relaxing day. What I found even more exciting was the fact that Joëlle and I have a lot in common and she offered to take me on adventures throughout the Loire Valley. I’m excited to have another friend in the area (and the fact that she has a car is only a bonus)!