Le Grand Tour de la France - Le Douzième Jour

Sheila Newton By Sheila Newton, 14th Jan 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/16qqidbd/
Posted in Wikinut>Travel>Europe>France>The Loire

Port Grimaud à Le Grand Croix, St-Étienne via les Gorges du Loire -
We travelled from Les Prairies de la Mer on the Côte d'Azur to St-Étienne, situated in the Massif-Central area of France, calling in at villages and amazing landscapes of the Gorges de la Loire on the way

Driving Through the Gorges du Verdon to the Tiny Village of Chambles

Situated in the Massif Central, in the Rhône-Alpes region, St-Étienne lies 60K south-west of the city of Lyon.

Saying goodbye to our home for the week at Les Prairies de la Mer, Port Grimaud, we travelled north via the beautiful Route Nationale. The scenery was simply stunning, the road twisting and winding through forest and woodland - and wide open valleys with rolling hills on the horizon. The Parc Naturel Regional du Verdon is an area not be missed. Situated in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, it is home to the Gorges du Verdon. One day, we'll visit the Gorges du Verdon properly, instead of just taking glances from the road - but on this trip, we're going further north to visit Les Gorges de la Loire.

The sun shone and we sweltered as we had our coffee breaks and a lunch break at the French motorway cafes, called 'Aires'. The Aires in France are so much more landscaped and interesting than the motorway services in England. There are maps and statues, tourist shops and picnic areas: lots to keep you occupied on a stop when you're on a long journey.

On our way to Le Grand Croix, we decided to take a look at the entrance to Les Gorges de la Loire and make a picnic stop at the village of Unieux, with 'gorgeous' views over the Gorges de la Loire, before moving further into the Gorges to the equally picturesque Chambles.

Chambles and Unieux are both gateways to two very famous and beautiful chateaux situated in the Gorges de la Loire area.

The chateaux were set for tomorrow's agenda and I was so looking forward to seeing them up close.

The Village of Unieux and its Natural Gateway to the Gorges de la Loire

Unieux gave us a grand welcome. We stopped for coffee at a tiny bar where we sat outside in the warm breezy sunshine and talked with the barmaids who were peeling vegetables and making a huge tossed salad for lunch.

Further along the tiny winding road, there were two rustic bridge that we strolled along to for a little photo shoot - and we were told that the people who live here pride themselves on the fact that these beautiful bridges form the natural gateway to the Gorges de la Loire.

And so they do! No sooner had we passed under the bridge in the car, we were well and truly into gorge area, with narrow roads leading up and up, giving us splendid views of the River Loire way down in the gorge valleys. You need a real head for heights to gaze down from the cliff tops to the valleys below!

The Gorges, the Valleys and the Meadowland

After roaming around the pretty village, we found ourselves in wide-open meadowland overlooking the Loire, where a picnic tea was most certainly in order, with the most fantastic views from the cliff tops to the village of Saint-Victor-sur-Loire and its splendid marina and sandy beach.

The meadowland itself was simply stunning with an abundance of wild flowers, grasses and a plethora of all kinds of butterfly flitting and settling with quivering wings.

Contented and happy with our wonderful day, we motored on to our Formule 1 hotel in Grand Croix.

Tags

Butterflies, Chambles, France, Gorges De La Loire, Meadows, Picnic, Picnic Spot, River Loire, Unieux, Wild Flowers

Meet the author

author avatar Sheila Newton
A retired nurse and teacher, with two cats, a husband and a grown up son, I write short stories, articles - and I'm an ardent blogger. Catch up with me on my blog at: http://sheilanewton.blogspot.com

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Comments

author avatar Denise O
14th Jan 2012 (#)

Sounds and looks like a gorgeous place to visit. Thank you for sharing.:)

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author avatar Sheila Newton
14th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks so much, Denise.

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author avatar richardpeeej
15th Jan 2012 (#)

Oh Sheila how I would like to get on my bike again and ride out into the sunset....thank you for sharing your experience....

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author avatar Sheila Newton
15th Jan 2012 (#)

Did you cycle around France?

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author avatar ittech
15th Jan 2012 (#)

Nice read

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author avatar Sheila Newton
15th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks, Ittech

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author avatar Retired
15th Jan 2012 (#)

this is amazing and so peaceful yeah

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author avatar Sheila Newton
15th Jan 2012 (#)

The Gorges de la Loire are stunning, I agree.

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author avatar Randy Duckworth
15th Jan 2012 (#)

Absolutely stunning! You have certainly had many wonderful adventures in your travels! Thanks for sharing them with us!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
15th Jan 2012 (#)

Cheers Randy. Nice to hear from you, my friend.

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author avatar Buzz
15th Jan 2012 (#)

Another one of your spectacular pages on your travel to France, my dear friend Thank you for sharing.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
15th Jan 2012 (#)

There's only about 2 or 3 left to come in this series. By that time, you'll be glad they're over!!!

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author avatar Delicia Powers
15th Jan 2012 (#)

Just wonderful...page and place...I love that butterfly...such a beautiful unusual yellow...you are always a joy to read, thanks Shelia:0)

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author avatar Sheila Newton
15th Jan 2012 (#)

Aw, thanks Delicia. The butterfly stayed still just long enough...

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
16th Jan 2012 (#)

Wonderful, Sheila. I love reading your very well written documentation. The pictures are excellent. Thank you.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
16th Jan 2012 (#)

Cheers - and all the best to you, Ivy

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author avatar Jules Castillo
16th Jan 2012 (#)

i envy you my friend for visiting those places... i wish we can all gather to a place like that...thanks.

you must be a travel person..

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author avatar Sheila Newton
16th Jan 2012 (#)

yeah, Mr Cowboy, I do LOVE travelling when i get the opportunity. We're off to the Gambia in Africa in March. I'll be telling all you Wikinutters that tale too!

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author avatar johnnydod
17th Jan 2012 (#)

I love these journeys with you Sheila

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author avatar Sheila Newton
17th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks Johnny.

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author avatar Ivyevelyn, R.S.A.
17th Jan 2012 (#)

Hello, Sheila. Another beautiful page of pictures, along with your descriptions. Thank you so much.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
17th Jan 2012 (#)

Aw thanks, Ivy, beautiful lady RSA.

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author avatar aking1614
18th Jan 2012 (#)

Wonderfully described and quite beautiful! Makes me want to pack up and go right now!

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author avatar Sheila Newton
18th Jan 2012 (#)

Aw, thanks, Ashan.

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author avatar LOVERME
18th Jan 2012 (#)

very nice
.....Of Unwanted Negativity

You are the architect of your own mind ,
take a leap forward in the arena of time,
take charge of your self ,your mind
leave all else ,
negativity in particular
far behind...

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author avatar Sheila Newton
18th Jan 2012 (#)

Aw, thanks, Ashan. And nice to hear from you Loverme.

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author avatar Retired
18th Jan 2012 (#)

When the mind does work it is means well,
Other wise it gets locked up in a prison cell.
For you did hold my hand on beach,
Mind is the magic so to teach.
But then went awry in your mind,
Spoke words that were unkind.
Called me a divorcee when I am not,
While in your Nissan (FUP 411) with girls you ran about.
Called your wife a fat cow,
Pregnant with child then and now.
Was your shoulder when your cried hate child,
Responsibility did your great freedom defiled.

Yes, James, i remember everything from then till date. Rav 4 Number: BUH 437. Check with the NZ Transport association.... Go home to your wife who owns the cars not you....

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author avatar Hugo La Rosa
18th Jan 2012 (#)

Excellent article! Great vacation days... Nice pictures. Thank you.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
18th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks Hugo. Lovely to be Wikinut friends. I read another of your fab sotries. WOW!

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author avatar ppruel
18th Jan 2012 (#)

What a great trip you made my friend. Those photos seemed untouched. Nature beauty indeed. Loved them.

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author avatar Sheila Newton
18th Jan 2012 (#)

Aw, thanks, paul.

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author avatar Retired
18th Jan 2012 (#)

Sorry about Stupid Rose James, he is a philandering idiot (in real) who uses the internet to score girls for tyrsts despite being married.

Love being in France, its a beautiful place... Travelled out there on the road....

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author avatar Sheila Newton
19th Jan 2012 (#)

Cheers, Aiyanna.

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author avatar Bridgitte Williams
19th Jan 2012 (#)

Spectacular...loved the photos!! :-)

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author avatar Sheila Newton
19th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks, Bridgitte

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author avatar Sivaramakrishnan A
19th Jan 2012 (#)

Thanks for sharing your trip with such lovely photos too, Sheila. All the more reason for us to preserve and pass them on to future generations - siva

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author avatar Sheila Newton
19th Jan 2012 (#)

Lovely comment, Siva. Thanks.

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author avatar Songbird B
1st Feb 2012 (#)

Stunning images and beautifully written Sheila.. What a joy to share your wonderful holiday with you this way..

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author avatar Sheila Newton
1st Feb 2012 (#)

Thanks Songbird. It's lovely that you've visited my road trip all in one go. Thank you so much.

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