We love having company while we are in France and enjoy showing them a little bit outside of Paris. Both groups of family and friends expressed interest in wine tasting and castles. Couldn't be better for Tony and me. We love The Loire Valley so that was easy but choosing a hotel near Azay Le Rideau [a favorite of ours]was my job. So I started with booking.com. I saw several lovely possibilities and then I came across the name...Hotel Troglododo. Well troglodytes? plus dodo. Sort of translates to cave dwelling and sleep. Sounds intriguing so after looking at the website I took a chance and booked it twice for 2 different groups.
First a little aside about the train ride. At the Austerlitz train station, and other stations, there is a free piano for people to play and sing. Adds a nice touch.
We had reservations but when we got to our cabin, which had 8 seats, there was a guy sleeping on 4 of them. As no one else came into the cabin, we let him sleep. Even the conductors didn't bother him. When it was time to show his ticket, he woke up, said, "Bon Jour", showed his pass and went back to sleep. Only when someone else came into the cabin at one of the stops did we have to wake him up. He was very pleasant, had been working night and day and was heading home to the south of France.
We took the train from Paris to Tours and rented a car and set off with My Dear Cousin Bonnie and her Up for Anything daughter Amy. A good group for exploring the unknown and uncharted land of many caves. Although it was cold and no flowers were yet budding we visited the Gardens of Villandry. Then on to Chateau Langais in a charming little town. We were given a fascinating history of the castle through the use of dressed figures, low lighting and voices that came from somewhere mysterious. It was better than you might think...really.
The whole time my stomach is churning wondering what have I gotten us into sleeping in a cave. This could be a disaster. Check in was between 4 and 6 pm. As we drove by the dirt road with a junk yard full of rusted cars I thought this can not be the right road. After several wrong turns we drove by the junk yard and up up a dirt road to sign reading TROGLODODO. All remained in the car while I scouted out the hotel which can not be seen from the road. There is an elevator that takes you down to the hotel level which is dug out of the side of the hill. Our rooms were wide open with keys in the doors but no sign of a proprietor. I called and called and eventually a delightful french man came out to greet me. M. Sarrasin, le proprietaire.
IT WAS AWESOME! WHAT A HOOT1
Doorway to our room
Sitting area and fireplace...this was the kitchen for the original owners.
Judy, Tony and Bonnie resting in the "Casbah" in one of the rooms
Even the toilet (WC) was in a little cave.
Tony, Hill and Mikaela having cocktails on the patio and looking at the day's photos.
Which included a 30km or so bike road from Azay le Rideau to Vilandray and back. (Thanks to M. Sarrasin for the detailed map of back roads.)
Here's Judy complimenting the morning staff member on her home made yogurt and vanilla pudding.
View of the breakfast area with Judy and M. Sarrasin. Does it remind you of a disco? It was.
Hotel Troglodod was more than we could have imagined. It really was a delightful and totally unique surprise that we thoroughly enjoyed. Can't wait for our next excuse to go to the Loire Valley.