A few miles from Paris, in the heart of France, a beautiful region extends. Is the Loire Valley, a place dotted with splendid palaces and castles proud formerly inhabited by kings and queens.
I think we all agree: traveling by train, with its speed and comfort, seems an increasingly serious threat to air travel alternative. Especially when one undertakes the journey at night and wake up, for example, in Orleans, in the heart of the Loire Valley. The traveler fail night for dinner at the restaurant of the train and sleep in the cabin. The next morning, he’s in Orléans. It is therefore a pleasant journey that also involves some cost savings, since it is not necessary for additional hotel nights or Taxi from airport to city center.
Wednesday September 28 is the day chosen for the “Fam Trip and Press MICE sector”, which translated into colloquial language, no longer a meeting of familiarization trips and press for the sector “Event Facilities” or ” business tourism. “
At 19:30 I stand in França Station in Room Customer, to meet Alfons Berruezo, the Head of Onboard Services and Communication Elipsos. I was a little nervous but see the face of Alfons reassured me it conveyed the assurance of one who knows he has a good product to offer.Elipsos with the Regional Tourism Committee of the Central Region of Orléans had organized four wonderful days in the beautiful region of the Loire Valley. An excellent choice, was to travel comfortably in Trenhotel Elipsos, transport faithful to the philosophy of TS Eliot, who said that “it is the journey, not the destination, that matters.”
Slowly reaching others. We are a party of seven. Four we jumped in Trenhotel Joan Miró Barcelona-Paris route realizala leaving at 8pm and arrives at Les Aubrais-Orléans at 07.37. The other three are based on Madrid’s Francisco de Goya Trenhotel performs Madrid-Paris route and arriving at 7.34 pm at the same station Les Aubrais-Orléans.
Whether on the train, I present to classmates: Xavier Ricomà, product manager of the company Boxde Ideas; Xavier Vila, CEO dela Kivicom company; Pilar and Prat, Department of convention and incentive Transglobal. After a while we decided to dine at the hotel restaurant and enjoyed a la carte dinner with two courses, dessert, wine and spirits. At four we were pleasantly surprised and instantly prepared varies depending on the season Mediterranean cuisine, a treat worthy of any good restaurant, which made four strangers talk distendidamente late.
On Thursday, we arrived at our destination point. There we waited Stéphanie Ledonne our guide and interpreter, and co-Madrid: Diana Yanez, events consultant American Express Barceló Viajes; Gonzalo del Pino production Awa and Monica Aunión Daba Broker Solutions.Representing Elipsos Alexis Darne.
Made the introductions, we will have a coffee at Les Musardises a bakery where we expected praline-Pierre-Elise, in charge of Media Relations Department of the Loire.Besides the classic French pastries advantage to taste a selection of handmade macarons: some strawberry and vinegar, lemon, rose petals and cinnamon, hazelnut and pear, ginger and cinnamon … Delicious!
After breakfast played a walk around town to enjoy some of the most important monuments, the statue of Joan of Arc, the cathedral … Our guide explained everything he knew about these and other monuments of the city of Orléans. The nicknamed “Stéphanie of Arc” instead of Joan of Arc, military hero and patron of the Guidelines because like the character was swayed by passion when recounting every detail of the history of the city.
Just 33 km from Orleans, in the middle of the “granary of France”, in a strategic location as Chilleux aux Bois, Castle Chamerolles began as a fortress in the twelfth century but was transformed into a castle in the stands XV century inspired by the Italian Renaissance palaces.Following an extensive refurbishment by the Department of Loire, has become the Perfume Museum. Anecdotally I will explain that in the twelfth century, French was bathed and in principle could take up to 3 hours in water with perfume because it was considered better to throw it directly on the skin. Then some researchers recommended to royalty not bathe because the pores are closed on contact with water and recommended them cleaning, ie, rubbing and leaning fragrances to hide the smells, changing clothes several times a day for no smell … it was in the eighteenth century when they returned to bathe and perfume not put aside creating different scents that have been maintained until today.
The valley is famous for its vineyards, fruit production and their peoples, wonders of architecture, but his greatest legacy are the chateaux.
Among the 300 existing, it is essential not to miss the de Chenonceau, Villandry and d’Amboise. Ideally, you come to know yourselves this small part of the neighboring country, commonly known as the garden of France, where among green meadows watered by wide streams you breathe pure air.
We got to know the two magic valley forms: bicycle and balloon. Indeed, traveling by bike is always a pleasure, but do so in the Loire Valley is an incentive. His evocative and nostalgic romanticism landscapes to transport you to ancient times. Its cultural, scenic and natural value is such that it was declared World Heritage by UNESCO in the category of natural landscapes, specifically the 280 kilometers that separate the Loire River Sully-sur-Loire and Chalonnes-sur-Loire (Anjou). Currently driving on 650 miles of bike lanes that run next to the river is possible, but is working to get to 800. Visit the Loire Valley is also delve into the world of good food and good drink. The region also has many high quality products recognized through its designation of origin or Controlled Appellation of Origin (AOC). Indeed, in the Loire eating well is a whole way of life. Here there are many fresh and top quality ingredients: fruits and vegetables, fresh fish of the Loire, mushrooms, goat cheese … the list goes on.
Get up early on Friday. We have to cross the valley balloon. We deployed against a castle huge painted with the colors of the rainbow balloon. Huge fans fill with air fabric gradually begins to swell and rise. We get in the basket next to the pilot. The giant balloon is inflated with hot air and completely straightens. Then, gently and with little sense of movement, began to rise.
The valley grows less quickly at our feet, and this is the only indication of how quickly climbed. Definitely an unforgettable experience as was the food in the hotel restaurant “L’Oree des Chenes”. In it, after a heavy meal, we enjoyed the delicious Tarte Tatin, a native of the valley.
After such a busy day, you say goodbye to some friends with whom you’ve shared meals, laughter … and you realize how lucky you had to visit a culturally rich region and that has certainly been much more enjoyable by the company of each.
With that thought at 21 pm we catch the train. The next morning I wake up in Barcelona, glad I visited the Loire Valley and willing to recommend it to everyone.