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Outings stays

Saumur, June 19 and 20, 2021

After a well-deserved rest at the Campanile hotel near Saumur, and a hearty breakfast, we are refreshed for this new day in Anjou. This morning, Mrs. Rain gives us a little respite. We take the direction of Montreuil-Bellay.

We discover a Renaissance citadel in the heart of an impregnable fortress.

Built in the time of Hugues Capet, the castle is located in the heart of a picturesque village overlooking the bucolic banks of the small Thouet river.

He saw history pass at his feet. He went through the Hundred Years War, several successive sieges, the Wars of Religion, the French Revolution, the First and Second World Wars. It is the only castle in Anjou to have kept its 13th century ramparts intact, with its walkway, its gates, its barbicans, its towers, its watchtowers, its moats... We admire this architectural richness through a pedestrian circuit which leads us to the edge of the Thouet, with a breathtaking view of the citadel.

Then, it's the departure for Doué la Fontaine, where we immerse ourselves in the troglodyte site of Perrières, called the Mystery of the Faluns.

10 million years ago, the savannah and the sea reigned in these places. Under the effect of the tides, the underwater dune has stratified, agglomerating with the sand the remains of all the animals that inhabited the place (shells, sharks, whales, tigers, antelopes, elephants, etc.). This rock was extracted from the basement by carriers, for the construction of houses. The cellars thus formed are the result of centuries of exploitation.

Our journey through the galleries has transported us to the mists of time.

A luminous scenography on the stone itself, a sound atmosphere offered us a new approach to geology that was both sensory and poetic. A fabulous journey between land and sea, past and present, dream and science.

Once back on earth, we leave for the troglodyte restaurant “  Les Cathédrales du Saulaie”, where we have lunch. Located about 20 meters below the level of the road, it is installed in an old underground quarry of falun stones. We taste the regional specialties. Fouées, rolls cooked over a wood fire, which are eaten filled with butter, rillettes, etc. The somersaults, large stuffed mushroom heads, tapped apples, all washed down with a kir with rose and strawberry liqueur, with a Saumur.

After this delicious meal, our last stop takes us back to Saumur, for a visit to the Ackerman cellar. Founded in 1811, Ackerman is the 1st and oldest house of fine bubbles in the Loire Valley. It specializes in the production of the Saumur and Crémant appellations, according to the traditional method. Since 2009, she has been involved in a process of supporting contemporary art. A guided tour takes us to meet the world of wine and art, in some of the most beautiful troglodyte galleries. This visit will be followed by a tasting and the purchase of a few vintages.

Unfortunately, time is running out and it is already time to leave. A fluid circulation (who would have believed it, for a Sunday evening), brings us back without problem to Roissy.

Hats off to our driver and his 15-meter bus, who masterfully defied all the pitfalls of the course.

A big thank you to Fernand, Pierrette, Philippe and all the little hands, who worked behind the scenes for the success of this weekend.

Looking forward to the next stay.

Gigi Saint Mars

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