There’s something about the light in Angers that captivated me. The capital city of the province of Anjou, in the Loire Valley of France is about 2 hours with Rail Europe from Paris. The station is Angers Saint Laud, where one finds all the amenities – from cafes to car rental services – of a major city terminal.
I arrived to Angers a bit tired from my travels. I had only earlier landed into Paris from NYC, taken a taxi from the airport to the Montparnasse train station for my train into the Loire Valley. I was happy to discover that my hotel was a short 10 minute walk from the station, but the hot afternoon quickly took a toll on me as I made my way there.
Thankfully, Thomas, the General Manager of Hotel 21 Foch, was waiting for me and quickly guided me to my chic room, with clean and contemporary decor, overlooking the streets and the energy of the city, all of which I was able to appreciate before taking a nap.
I woke up in time to tour the Chateau D’Angers, home of the Dukes of Anjou,another 10 minute walk from my hotel.
I arrived in time to avoid the major crowds on the gorgeous Sunday afternoon and leisurely enjoy a self guided tour through this Medieval castle and take in the sights of the Maine river.
The castle was built in the 9th century, but expanded further during the 13th century. There are a lot of stairways and corridors, both in and around the garden that make it easy to spend a good part of your day touring. Of course, much of your time is spent simply admiring the Apocalypse Tapestry which is on display here.
I saw a lot of families with their children enjoying the area, as well as couples sitting by the café enjoying an afternoon beverage. I quickly forgot I was in the middle of a major city as the breeze gently tossed my curls and the birds sang around me. Then, the bells of the Saint Maurice of Angers Cathedral started to ring, the sounds of which filled the city sky.
I could only see the towers from where I stood, so decided to venture through the winding, cobble stone streets in search of the cathedral entrance.
When I found it the doors were closed. A sad moment as it was clear I would have loved the views from inside. I made my way to the nearby bridge to take a closer look of the river, and then walked more to take in the city more as pedestrians often do. “Angers, the city of art and history” read a nearby sign, and yet, had I never read the sign I could have guessed as much. There are sculptures found throughout, as well as plenty of museums and monuments to explore.
I had dinner at the Brasserie du Theatre, across the plaza from the Grand Theatre of Angers established in 1871. I enjoyed my afternoon of people watching and taking in a more laid back view of French city living.
Insisting on reading only from the French menu I ended up with a bit more than I expected for dinner, but with a lovely Sauvignon I was able to make somewhat of a dent in my seafood platter!
The hardest part of my time in Angers was going back to bed just as the sun began to set at a little bit past 9PM. Night in Angers is slow to arrive.
There is something about the light in Angers, especially at dusk, that captivated me. I wondered, as I fell asleep, how it is that there aren’t endless love songs already written about it.
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To see more of my adventures through Loire Valley, follow my Instagram at GirlGoneTravel or on Twitter (@CarolACain) with hashtag #LoireValleyTravels.
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Disclosure: I am touring the Loire Valley as the guest and wine ambassador for Atout France and their partners. All opinions are my own.