As I crossed the cobble bridge from the Trinity area to the château side, I really was struck by how beautiful a part of the world this is.
|My room is the top-right of the 4 arched windows overlooking the weir|
and those out on the cobbled streets just beneath the château...
After enjoying all the sights, sounds and aromas of the market, I made my way into the château for a tour round. I was a little surprised at some of the questions put to us by the tour guide.... and even more surprised by the lack of answers from the french tourists of why they thought the castle was situated where it was? what some of the various openings in the walls were for? Maybe growing up in Ireland where we are surrounded by castles, (granted, in greater disrepair than many of these), but you know that putting a castle on top of a rock by a river immediately aids defence by making the most of the landscape and it gives you the views to see your enemy approaching from a great distance. Slits for arrows, openings above gates to drop stones on invaders..... these all seemed to be new concepts to my fellow tourists, which really shocked me.
|Note the Italian style villa in the distance|
|And the aqueduct...|
I wasn't quite ready for the pool, so I decided to walk along the river bank and around and up to the Italian Villa perched on the hill, seen from the château earlier. This large expanse of land was bought in the early 1800s by an artist, who along with another artist friend transformed it into a little piece of Italy, with a villa, a large rustic farmhouse, little follies dotted around with statues of the Roman gods and goddesses, even a tiny mock temple to Vesta.
|From the Villa back to the château|
So, no wine-tasting today, but maybe tomorrow??