Another day today with a wide variety of activities. We visited Chateau Brissac in the morning, then went to a troglodyte (cave) restaurant for lunch, then finally toured the Loire river in a small boat.
Fun facts: One of the tallest castles in France, Chateau Brissac has (I think) five or six stories. One family and their descendants have lived in and owned Chateau Brissac for over five hundred years (!). The current family members use the upper floors (from the third on) of the castle, for their private residence.
I thought I had been to Brissac on a previous trip to France, but as it turns out I haven’t. So that was cool, because it was totally new. We went on a tour of the first two floors of the castle as well as the dungeon (ish). The first floor was just a foyer, formal living room, and formal dining room, but interesting nonetheless. As we ascended the stairs to the second floor, I almost slipped because the stairs were so weirdly sloped and slippery! I guess that’s what you get with castles built in the 15th century. The second floor housed a party room with a hidden door (!) to a bedroom, which had more hidden doors within it that apparently used to lead to servants’ quarters but are now used for storage and other stuff. Kind of an illogical place for said bedroom, but I guess if you really like to party…
Also on the second floor was another large room, with another less-hidden but still subtle door, which opened into a chapel. AN ENTIRE CHAPEL! My mind was totally blown. It was super tight, but had plenty of light and pretty altar carvings. We then exited the chapel and moved on to the third/second floor (in France, the ground floor is called the rez-de-chaussée, then the second floor is called the first floor, then second, and so on. Complicated, I know). The third floor had a private room that we couldn’t go in but looked cool, and also a game room/theater that we could enter. The game room had what looked like a pool table but wasn’t, because it didn’t have holes in the corners. Otherwise it was the exact same design as a pool table, with cues and all that. If anyone knows what the game is, tell me.
The theater was MASSIVE and had super lush red walls, carpeting, and seats. The only things I could think were a), is there a projector in here, and b) if so, does the family just sit in here and watch Netflix? Like if I lived in a castle I would sit in my outrageous theater and watch Netflix. And do their kids invite friends over? Like “Hey, Pierre, want to come over?” “Sure, Beret, where do you live again?” “Oh, this little house called Chateau Brissac.”
By the end of the tour, I was verging on hangry so I was so glad to get back on the bus for the short ride to the troglodyte restaurant–which turned out to by my favorite part of the day. The troglodyte/cave village was like an Ewok village from Star Wars or Hobbit houses from Lord of the Rings. It was awesome. We ate in a little cave and had delicious fresh-made bread with a variety of fillings, from meat and beans to mushrooms. We also had dessert options, of which I chose a pear flan-type thing with chocolate chips. It was sooooo good.
Our final destination was a short boat tour on the Loire. It was a bit cold and windy, but I had plenty of layers plus a blanket the boat guides provided us so I was toasty. It was a cloudy day so there was hardly anyone on the water. The views were pretty good despite the weather, and it was a nice relaxing way to end the day.
See you in the next post,