21 April 2008


On our way to Chambord on Saturday, after stopping in to see the church at Fontaines-en-Sologne. we started seeing people standing out along the side of the road as if they were waiting for a bus to pick them up. We were far out in the country, so it was remarkable and mysterious to see these old couples standing out there just waiting and watching.

Exterior and interior shots of the church
at Fontaines-en-Sologne. You can see the
name plates on the backs of the pews.

When we arrived at Bracieux, the town just south of Chambord, there were many more people standing along the side of the road. We realized there must be an event in the making. Then a gendarme stopped the small group of cars we happened to be in and we saw several vans and then some classic cars drive by the in the opposite direction, escorted by a blue gendarmerie van with lights flashing.

The painted window of a salon de coiffure
shows an animal common in the Sologne,
the sanglier or wild boar

At first I thought it was a classic-car rally, but Chris recognized it as a bike race. There were many vans, some rented from SuperU, in the cortege. After 12 or 15 cars and vans went by, the gendarme moved aside and let us proceed. But in Bracieux, we found ourselves caught in a little traffic jam of about 20 cars. I was able to turn left and head east out in the the Sologne forest to avoid the clog.

A Logis de France hotel/restaurant in Dhuizon

We ended up in the village called Dhuizon, which I had driven through several times before. It's just east of Chambord, by maybe 15 km/9 mi. We stopped and walked around for a few minutes, and I took some pictures. Dhuizon is a typical Sologne town and is very pretty. I had always wanted to stop there, but hadn't had the chance. We were lucky with the weather on Saturday, too. It was clear, not cold or windy, with big puffy clouds overhead against a blue sky.

A café in Dhuizon, in a typical Solognot building.
Just as I snapped the picture, a young man threw open
a window and yelled "Cheese!"

We later saw posters announcing a bike race called Le Tour du Loir-et-Cher (our département) and realized that was the event we had gotten caught up in. We never did see the cyclists.

This morning the rain is really coming down. And yesterday it was very gray and showery all day, with steady rain starting to fall by late afternoon. So far, this is not the April I had hoped for, weather-wise.


  1. I've enjoyed all of your photos today, Ken. The artist made the boar look like an elegant animal- it reminds me of a horse jumping.

    So you didn't see the bikers? Biking is pretty popular in the states now. There is now a tour de Georgia and Anniston has a race called the Criterion- a 100 miles which includes a trip up our tall mountain named Cheaha.

    Try and remember April showers bring May flowers;-)

  2. Very nice photos. Your loss of gardening pursuits is our gain in photos.

    I'm sorry your weather hasn't improved.

    If on your travels you get to Chedigny, my favorite village in your area (I'm open to other candidates anyone may suggest), I'd like to know if it's as lovely in the off-sseason as when it's a village fleuri.


What's on your mind? Qu'avez-vous à me dire ?