We had never heard of Amboise before but it was about to surprise us in a very pleasant way. Dominique suggested we stop and mentioned that if at all possible we should go to the final home of Leonardo da Vinci, now a museum.
We learn as we go and have discovered it is important to arrange a specific time for Airbnb check in. They were not home when we first arrived so we paid for parking and explored the centre of town by foot. Afternoon coffee was the fist item on the agenda. I was tired after the drive but livened up immediately as the skies cleared and the most gorgeous afternoon presented itself. Amboise has a very charming town centre. Although we are becoming accustomed to the French quaintness we still appreciate the small differences. During the drive today, we also noticed the landscape changing around us. More open farm land. Larger land parcels. Yellow mustard fields. More road bikers.
After coffee we head back to the excellent central location of our Airbnb but our hosts are still not home and no reply to our online messages. It is a tad annoying but the sun was shining and the fine weather won us over again. We paid for more parking and decided to wander some more. The plan was to visit the Leonardo da Vinci museum Saturday morning but by pure chance we ended up on the street leading us right to it. Google said the museum was open until 8 pm and it was only 6 but when we arrived it turned out the museum closed at 7 pm but we went for it anyways. Great decision - it was indeed a wonderful experience. Francis I, the King of France had invited Leonardo da Vinci to move to Amboise when he was sixty four years old and he lived there for the last three years of his life. We quickly agreed that we too could live in this house. Gorgeous rooms with beautiful decor and your own private tunnel leading to the castle for when the king would come for a visit. Several of da Vinci’s inventions, modelled from original drawings, were on display. His gardens were equally impressive and exploring it in the early evening light with no one else around is highly recommendable. Several of his art pieces were on display and it was inspiring creatively.
We ordered two bowls of spaghetti bolognese at a corner restaurant by the castle. A kir for Di and beer for me. Our cheeks were red from the sun and fresh air as we devoured our dinner. We walked along the Loire River and took in the sunset on our way back to our Airbnb. A great way to wrap up the day. Our hosts had since responded to our messages and were now home to greet us. They greeted us with the traditional kiss on each cheek and gave us a tour of the wonderful roof top apartment. More space than we needed for the short time we were there. Very cozy. The bed proved to be a bit too short for me and was somewhat squeaky. After about ten minutes we gave up and threw the mattress on the floor. Problem solved. Lights out.