i am not sure whether to write this. cos, i think i will get bashed by some for not appreciating what i can readily enjoy ;p
but that is not the point. hehehe.
anywayz, during our first day in Loire Valley, i was quite unimpressed really. Yes, the chateaus were very lovely and it was an eye opener touring them. but similar countryside scenes of sprawling greens can be seen not just in france.
somehow, the french countryside wasn't as idyllic or scenic as i had imagined ;p case of high expectations? or being immune to the beauty that is so readily available in the rest of europe? or maybe it's the romantic notion of the french that has been played up and setting me up for disappointment ;p
we kind of lost of way on the first day and had the chance to truly explore the countryside, taking off-beaten paths etc and the villages that we came across were just that -- villages -- nothing too quaint or attractive .... and certainly didn't brighten our day ;p instead it was so quiet and dead that it added to our frustration of not finding what we want to find!
why did we get lost? simply because we changed our "itinerary" on arrival and we thought that the chateaus are "so famous" they should appear on the GPS (when we select tourist attractions") so even though we didn't have the exact address of Chateau D-Ussee, we decided to just venture forth and look for it. mistake! it was quite difficult to find! we only managed to find it after giving up and going to another chateau and then chancing upon a brochure of D'Ussee!
anywayz, back to how i felt .... i had initially thought that as we drive through Loire, the scenery will be breath-taking and landscape awesome....u know with chateaus dotting the landscape and catching a glimpse of them as we drive along .... HAHAHA. it didn't happen as often i'd like !
hehehe. when we were driving to Chambord from Amboise, we did had a glimpse of Chaumont and that was nice and the approach to Chambord was very impressive too. but other than that, most of the chateaus were kind of "well hidden" -- maybe the owners then meant it that way -- away from the public eye.... and they are usually in the "middle of nowhere" .... hahahaha....
well, after the first day, things got better. i did enjoy loire (but i think i enjoyed the rhine valley more!! ;p) and french food is always nice :) i wished we had abit more time to enjoy the countryside.
i think i was suffering from the "kiasu" syndrome -- we are unlikely to make another trip to the loire valley anytime soon and i wanted to see as much as we could. it would probably have been more idyllic if we had slowed down our pace and given ourselves more time to explore the countryside by foot or have a picnic by the loire. so, even though we spent 6 days in Loire, it didn't felt enough. there was more that we could do. to think that i was initially concerned that 6days was too long!!