Have I mentioned how France operates on Sundays? To keep it short, they don’t. Not really. On Sundays in France the vast majority of stores (magasins) are closed. That happens to be quite inconvenient since Sunday is our only day off during the week. Even though I think it’s a really nice way to make people rest and spend time with their families and friends, Sundays always make me BORED.
So a couple of Sundays ago, Coop, Kristy and I were googling into the castles we’ve heard about in the area. We’ve heard that there are many castles in the Loire Valley and along the Erde River (near us). We weren’t quite up to taking a long drive anywhere, but spotted a little Chateau that was about 20 minutes from our a apartment. Boom, done. It was a sunny day and it was a good reason to get out of the apartment and stretch our legs.
That decision turned out to be one of the best spontaneous moves we’ve made yet!
We pulled up to the little chateau, which was really cute but really, achem, little. I wouldn’t qualify it as a castle, but that’s okay! Little things can pack a big punch! I felt a bit like we were trespassing because people clearly lived there in the back, but it was also used as a hotel of sorts and had a vineyard and winery.
When checking out a building near the vines, there was a bell and sign to ring if someone wanted a tour or information. There was nobody in site. We rang the bell, but to no avail. Then noticed a phone and number to call if no one answered the buzz. Lo and behold, contact! A man said to give him 2 minutes and he’d come down to speak with us.
We ended up learning so much- the type of wine they make here, all about the vineyard, how they harvest the grapes, produce the wine and even got to taste the finished product! 🙂 Somehow we lucked into a wine tasting of the muscadet they produce at this winery. (Muscadet is the wine of the Loire Valley Region, which is where Nantes is!) It is family owned business they’ve had for 5 generations now and that they really enjoy.
We also asked for some advice of things to do or see outside of Nantes but is not so far away. He said about 10km down the road is the city center of Clisson- which is small but nice. Whelp, why not go for it! We jumped in the car and after 5 minutes of skepticism in the middle of fields, our next spontaneous action paid off! We found the town and a big old Castle! We walked around, took some pics and ended the day with a cappuccino at a nearby cafe before heading back to Nantes.
Sometimes just going for it really pays off! It ended up being a great Sunday!