Loire by car

After a mostly boring week, I lucked out yesterday.  Two of my friends invited me along for an adventure in—get this—a car!

We headed upriver alongside the picturesque Loire to the even more picturesque town of Saumur.

First stop: the castle of Saumur, clearly strategically located for a fantastic view of scenery and invaders.

After admiring the view from the castle, we wandered around Saumur’s market, where we stopped to look at these crates full of live ducklings, hens, and rabbits.

The vendor handed Barbara a just-laid, still warm-from-the-ovary egg, thereby condemning us to carry around a delicate egg all day.

Outside of Saumur, we stopped to picnic in a lovely little park that turned out to be full of magical wonders.

It looks simple enough from here, but look closer.

Magical Wonder #1: a squirrel you can ride! (Also, please admire my new sandals.)

Magical Wonder #2: this marvelous unlabeled sculpture. I was briefly annoyed that I couldn't sit on it (too wobbly), but I'm a sucker for bike art, so I decided I liked it even if I can't ride it. And, no joke, mere seconds after I said, "Methinks Marcel Duchamp was here,"

I turned around and saw this wheel. Marchel Duchamp was definitely here. (Or, you know, someone else who a thing for wheels on posts.)

We were surrounded by incredible troglodytes. I had never seen anything like them. What, praytell, are troglodytes?

Why, just kajillion-year-old caves people managed to carve homes into so they could ferment wine, cultivate mushrooms, and, in more recent years, hawk tourist art.

Easily the most impressive cave dwelling I've ever seen.

Our final destination of the day was an abbey that turned out to be even more interesting than I had expected.  I have quite a lot to say about it, though, so I’ll save that part for tomorrow. Stay tuned for Classy Broads in History!

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