Sorry, today’s post was to be about Futuroscope. But as the German Autobahn is difficult to traverse, we were stuck in traffic for hours. We missed dinner at our hotel in Groningen, and are now watching the UEFA European soccer cup with a glass of wine, after traveling Sandefjord-Groningen in one long haul. 😣 So, you’ll have to stay tuned until tomorrow to read about Futuroscope. Sorry about that! 😏⚽️☀️
Tip 4 for the summer is the romantic ruins of the Castle of Ebaupinay near Le-Breuil-sous-Argenton, 14 km from our place
In February 1458 the knight François de Vendel was granted permission by Charlex VII, king of France, to transform his mansion l’Ebaupinay into a stronghold. Thereafter the Ebaupinay fortress (or “maison-forte”) was inhabited until the French Révolution in 1793, when it was sacked. Later again, the timberwork and flooring where burnt out during the Vendée’s civil wars. Still, the main frame, substancially built with pink granit stones, keeps a remarquable stature.
This 15th century castle/fortress is for ruin lovers! It is situated in the middle of some fields, and with a farm as its closest neighbour. Nothing much going on around it, but it is a site well worth visiting. Bring your sketch book or your camera!
And if you’ve got some cash to spare, this magnificent ruin could be yours!
- Ruines du château de l’Ebaupinay ou de Baupinay à Breuil-sous-Argenton (Le) (Monumentum Carte des Monuments Historiques français)
Founded in 1961, the Bioparc is home to more than 1 000 animals from 123 different species.
41 of these species are on the IUCN’s Red List of threatened species (International Union for Conservation of Nature), classified such as Vulnerable, Endangered or Critically Endangered. Nine of the species belong to this last group, which lists the most endangered species in the world. The other species of the Bioparc are amongst the Near Threatened or Least Concern group. Thirty-six of the species benefit from European programmes of population management (EEP) that ensure their long-term survival in captivity.
The Bioparc attracts approximately 200 000 visitors each year. It is situated in a troglodyte environment and covers 38 acres. It offers two geographically organised levels, based around islands and vast animal spaces.The Bioparc offers different types of activities. E.g. You can spend a day with one of the zookeepers and get up close to the animals. There is a gift shop with fair trade products, as well as snack bars, and The Giraffe Camp restaurant.
The Bioparc mission:
- Ignite emotion through immersion
We call on the natural and cultural richness of the park to create atmospheres reminiscent of the animals’ natural habitats.
- Represent species from endangered wildernesses
Guided by our experience and our encounters, we welcome animals whose presence at the Bioparc shows the survival difficulties of their wild cousins.
- Be implicated in their country of origin
Throughout the world, and consistent with the human populations, we assist and support local associations dedicated to the preservation of endangered species or valued and valuable natural environments.
- Turn the park into an exchange and awareness raising space
We wish to pass on the values of sharing and respect from our experience with men and nature.
Tip 2 for the summer is the Tour de France (passing 50-60 km from our house)
Some years the Tour de France passes through our district. And 2016 is one of those years!
Running from Saturday July 2nd to Sunday July 24th 2016, the 103rd Tour de France will be made up of 21 stages and will cover a total distance of 3,535 kilometres.
- Stage 3, Monday, July 4th: Granville / Angers (223.5 km)
- Stage 4, Tuesday, July 5th: Saumur / Limoges (237.5 km)
You can read more about the Tour’s history on Wikipedia! We are no experts, but it’s great fun to watch live (even though they normally flash by in just a couple of minutes). This year they pass through two of our neighbouring cities: Angers and Saumur.Angers
The beautiful city of Angers is situated 60 km north of our place. It was the medieval seat of the Plantagenet dynasty, and the castle/fortress is said to have been the favourite dwelling of Richard the Lionheart. We’ll write more about Angers later this summer, but for those interested, here are a couple of links:
Saumur is situated 50 km to the north-east of our place. It is another medieval gem of a city. The Loire river runs through its centre, and on the hillside you’ll find the Chãteau de Saumur, originally constructed in the 10th century by Theobald I, Count of Blois, as a fortified stronghold against Norman predations. The castle as it looked in 1410 is depicted on The page for September in the Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry. We will blog more about Saumur and its ancient surroundings later this summer.
A couple of links:
Tip 1 for the summer is Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud (60 km from our house).
Final resting place of legendary queen, Eleanor of Aquitaine (c.1122-1204), her sons, Richard the Lionheart (Richard Cœur de Lion) (1157-1199), and the heart of John Lackland (c. 1167-1216) (his body rests in Worcester Cathedral), plus much more of the family, the Plantagenets.
Another Fontevraud page with lots of interesting information can be found at Paradox Place France.
So, why not visit this wonderful part of France this summer? (Or later?) ☀
Our French home is situated in the northern part of Deux-Sèvres, actually just a couple of hundred metres south of Maine-et-Loire.
This summer we want to highlight some of the amazing things you can see and do in our “neighbourhood”, one tip each day. France is so much more than Paris and the Côte d’Azur!
So stay tuned…