Friday, 25 October 2013

Travelogue: Road Trip to France - Part 2 Loire Valley

After reaching Calais, we had a 6 hours drive to our holiday rental south of Loches. Loire Valley is a huge area and we have decided to concentrate on the area east of Tours. We found a holiday rental which was doggie friendly just south of Loches.

After a night's rest, we headed to the beautiful town of Amboise for the day. Unfortunately, the weather was bad. The rain was coming down non-stop. Despite that, you can see how beautiful Amboise is. The town sits on left bank of Loire with the Chateau towers above the town and the river.


You can't come to Amboise without visiting the Chateau. The tickets are 10.50 Euros each. There is plenty to cover inside, so take your time. I am not going to go into the history, just enjoy the pictures :)

Going up to Chateau 'd Amboise

The Chapel of Saint Hubert where Leonardo da Vinci is buried

Top Left: View of Amboise town below, Top Right: Chateau d'Amboise, Bottom left: View of Amboise, Bottom Right: View across Loire

View of Chateau d'Amboise Grounds

Friday, 18 October 2013

Travelogue: Road Trip to France - Part 1 Crossing the Channel

At the end of August, the whole family (parents, husband and dogs included) went on a 2 week road trip to France. We planned a week in the Loire Valley, and a week in Brittany. It went fantastic!!! This was our second time bringing the dogs on a road trip to France. Armed with their pet passport and our 4x4 packed, we drove from home all the way down to Folkestone to catch the Eurotunnel over to Calais. Last time, we took the Ferry due to a strike on the Eurotunnel. So we were quite apprenhensive as we didn't know what to expect. All fears were blown out of the window, once we started our journey. It was raining cats and dogs on the day itself which was horrible as we got there early and had to make sure the doggies had their wee before we packed them back in the car to go on our merry way.

Rainy day at the Eurotunnel

The experience of driving into a train carriage was amazing. We had a tall 4x4, so ended up booking to go in the single deck carriage. If you have a normal car, you would go into a double deck carriage which I think is much more interesting.

The carriages open out to allow the cars to drive into the train

Once you are in the train carriage, the Eurotunnel staff would guide you and all loaded, they would closed down the gates between the carriages. The journey itself took 35 minutes, and the loading of all vehicles were really quick. We reached France really quickly, and the carriages reopened and you drove off into France. It was super easy and the waiting time was very reasonable. Best of all, the dogs get to stay with you in the car. Unlike taking the Ferry from Dover across to Calais, where the trip takes 1.5 hours, you have to leave your dogs in the car during the entire journey. A bit unnerving I would say, so if you are travelling with your dogs, I would definitely recommend taking the Eurotunnel. It is more costly, but the shorter journey time and for the dogs, it is the far superior choice. You pay £15 for each animal each way and it is very easy. At check in, you just have to let the attendant know that you have animals in the car, and they will give you a sticker to place on your car so that any Eurotunnel staff will know there are animals in your vehicle, and that's it. No red tape, special queues etc, very easy to take your dogs with you.

We are in France

On arrival, we just drive out of the train and voila! we are in France. Just bear in mind to drive on the right and you will be alright.

Join me next on the Loire Valley Leg of our trip. It was a 6 hours drive from Calais to where our gite rental was in the Loire Valley, south of Loches. Stay tune.

Friday, 11 October 2013

We went to France on a road trip and came back with a holiday home!

I am so sorry!!! I went AWOL for 3 more months!!!I thought moving back to the UK means a slower pace of life......but I am afraid it's not. Life has its up and its down, you can plan for everything but in the end, it is not going to go exactly as planned.

We went to France on a two week road trip, a week in Loire Valley and a week in Brittany. Since the husband is French, he had always wanted to buy a second home in France. We toyed with the idea a few years back in the Perpignan area, but never took the plunge. We procrastinated for too long and the inertia kicked in and we ended up with nothing.

So it was super out of character that we bought something. I found several properties that were interested and great value for the money, so I had arrange a viewing with the agent prior to leaving on our holiday. Three properties were lined out and the second one was a love at first sight. It had everything we wanted and more. So long story short, we went for a second viewing, two days later, made an offer on the day and had it accepted. One thing great about the French buying system is everything goes on smoothly. There is no gazumping like in the British system, so in less than 3 weeks time, the house will be ours!!!

It is call La Coyere Gites, situated in the peaceful hamlet of La Coyere outside of Noyant in Maine-et-Loire area of the Loire Valley. It consists of 3 houses, the farmhouse (owner's accommodation) with 4 bedrooms, the Cottage with 2 bedrooms and the Wine Store with 1 bedroom. The Cottage and the Wine Store are let out as holiday lets or gites as they called it in France. And we will continue with what the previous owners did, and will continue to let it out as holiday rentals.

This is why I have been busy with and have not been blogging. So stay tune to my new adventure of running a pair of French Gites. If you are looking for accommodation for your up and coming holiday in the Loire Valley, why not check us out. We are having Christmas promotions if you are looking for a short break for your Christmas/ New Year holidays. Check out our website at for more details and photos.

Our Logo and website

Top: Front Courtyard, Left: View of the pool and grounds, Right: Swimming pool with large deck

Top left: View of the Cottage & Wine Store, Top right: The Cottage, Bottom Left: Bedroom in the Wine Store, Bottom Right: View of Farmhouse