Over 12,000 people call Amboise home, and this year a friend of ours was one of them. She has been teaching English while perfecting her French, and she graciously offered to let us stay with her. It was a decision we don’t regret.
We did not know much about Amboise before staying there, but it turned out to be one of the loveliest places we’ve visited. It is an adorable French town on a river, with a castle, surrounded by beautiful countryside. Wandering the cobbled streets in search of France’s famously perfect pastries, it is easy to see why such renowned persons as Leonardo Da Vinci and Mick Jagger have hung their hats in this charming city.
The city of Amboise has a lot to offer. There are two chateaux in the town itself. On the outskirts of town is the wonderfully cheesy Parc du Mini Chateaux. A simple car rental will put dozens of extravagant chateaux within reach. The city is surrounded by beautiful countryside, and a lovely forest beckons explorers. For all of those sights, though, some of the most enjoyable parts of our visit to Amboise were much simpler. The town is full of shops to wander through and patisseries offering delicious and beautiful foods. Walking around we quickly noticed that there seems to be a sense of pride in having a home garden as many homes have full lush beautiful gardens of varied colors of flowers and bushes. On Sundays, there is a market offering a wide assortment of local goods, and, of course, the riverside is a great place for a picnic.
We are very grateful to our friend for introducing us to this town. There are plenty of places we have visited on this trip that we wouldn’t go back to. Amboise is not one of those places. We would go back in a heartbeat.