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ings, and as is usual in this country, some women washing on the river bank. We motored from here on toward La Roche Bernard. Just before we reached there we crossed the stream on a very shaky suspension bridge. I think we all breathed a sigh of relief on reaching the other side. The car being heavy, the vibrations were very perceptible.
We stopped at Hotel des Voyageurs (Travelers' Hotel), kept by a fat, jolly old woman. It was market day and the town was full, so was the hotel. When the landlady saw us, after we had our dinner, which was plain but good, she threw up her hands and exclaimed, to think ladies should come to her on market day when her house was full and dinner not good. We replied, we had had enough and it was good. In the diningroom were voices in every key, all talking at once, men laughing and joking, while outside in the market joining the hotel, calves and sheep were bleating, dogs barking, hens cackling, roosters crowing and cats squalling, all making one grand confusion of noises. As soon as it was possible, we left and motored on to Nantes, stopping over night at Hotel de France.
Friday, August 5. We started out sightseeing, going first to the cathedral, where we saw the tomb of Francis II, the last Duke of Brittany, as at his death the Duchy of Brittany passed to France, on the marriage of his daughter, the Duchess Ann, to Louis XII.
We saw the exterior of the old castle, now used as barracks. There are many fine bridges over the River Loire, this being the mouth of the river. Nantes was the capital of the old province of Brittany. On leaving Nantes, we motored along the Loire river, passing into the old province of Anjou, which for many years was an English possession. On the way we passed the ruins of an old castle said to have belonged to the original Bluebeard of the story. We stopped at Anjers, the chief city of this old province. We motored through the streets of the city, which seemed to be on a slight incline all the way, stopping finally at the old Hostelry du Cheval Blanc (The White Horse). This hotel was so full of officers that it was with difficulty we were served with dinner. This is a very old town, but seems like those of the present date. Leaving here, we saw the exterior of the castle. A fine view of the city is had from its ramparts. We saw the cathedral and some fine old houses. We motored on to Saumur, seeing the castle and bridge over the Loire river, going on to Tours, the former capital of Touraine, situated in the heart of the chateau country. We stopped at Hotel de l'Univers, where we expect to remain several days while visiting the different chateaux.
Saturday, August 6. We made an early start, motoring along the Loire river, passing by Chateau de Luynes, which was built in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries and belongs to the Duke of Luynes. We motored along to Langeais and visited the chateau. This is a perfect specimen of the fortified castle of the fifteenth century. It has been restored and handsomely refurnished in the style of that period. It is now owned and occupied by Monsieur Siegfried. The owner not being in residence, we were shown over the chateau by the caretaker. We saw several private oratories, each having a small altar with crucifix, that in madame's room being very handsome. Large fireplaces were in the dining room and drawing room (La Salle des Guardes and La Grande Salon.)
On leaving Langeais, we crossed the Loire river and passed Chateau d'Usse. Along the road here, we saw numbers of cliff houses, or troglodytes, as they are called. These houses are peculiar. The excavations are made in the side of the cliff for the house, then the front is put on. They are of all shapes and sizes and are frequently seen through this part of the country. Sometimes there are whole villages of them along the side of the cliff.
We motored on to Chinon and visited the castle, now in ruins. We saw the hall in which King Charles VII received Joan d'Arc. We had gouter on the terrace by the river. We enjoyed this so greatly, we remained longer than we really had the time to spare. We motored through the forest of Chinon, seeing masses of heather along the road. This I had expected to see in Scotland, but was disappointed, as it was too early. Our next stop was at Chateau Azay-le-Rideau. This is one of the loveliest of the Renaissance. It is now government property and is a museum. The grounds are beautiful with lakes and flowers. Terraces surround the chateau and lovely views are to be seen from them. On the interior we saw exquisite tapestries, furniture and works of art that are displayed in all the rooms. From here we returned to Tours, passing on the way Chateau de Villandry.
Sunday, August 7. Though Sunday, we made an early morning start, motoring to Loches.
Here we visited the old castle, which is being restored. In this castle in the sixteenth century, James V of Scotland was married to Madeline of France, and they were the parents of Mary Stuart. The donjon or keep, which is the main tower, is the oldest part of the castle. Underneath the tower are dungeons. Louis XI, that dreadful king, used to keep his captives imprisoned in iron cages on the walls outside the castle over the moat. In a little room, which is beautifully sculptured, is a small altar, all that remains of the oratory of Ann of Brittany, the room being bare except for this.
Leaving the castle, we went to Hotel de France, in the little village, where we had lunch, and it was none of the best. It was set in the little parlor for us. After dinner, I went over to the piano and played some French music, singing “Salute a la France," and when I finished I was greeted with “Brava, brava!" by Gaston and the waiters, who seemed to appreciate that an American would sing patriotic songs of France. There were no other guests in the house.
We motored from here to the Chateau Chenoncean, which is built over the River Cher, a tributary of the Loire. Henry II gave this chateau to Dian of Poitiers, and later Francis II and Mary Stuart spent their honeymoon here. This is another one of the fine renaissance chateaux. It has been well restored and is now owned and occupied by Monsieur Terry. We were shown only through the lower part of the house, and the part built on the bridge, which is really a long hall. Handsome mantelpieces and fine old tapestries were in all the rooms. We motored from here through the forest to Amboise and visited the old chateau. This is still the property of the Orleans family, being in charge of the old family servants. It is now being restored. The chateau is on a high hill and we had a long climb up to it. There is a beautiful little chapel on the grounds called Humburt. In one part of the chateau a small door was pointed out to us, leading out on to a terrace where Charles VIII met his death, by striking his head against this door on his way to play tennis. The king died almost immediately in