Tuesday March 5—Amboise & Clos Lucé

On March 5th, we did not have class in Saint Martin High School. Instead, we went on a two-hour road trip to Amboise, where Leonardo Da Vinci died. We arrived at the small town around 10:30am, having driven through a pleasant country of greenery very different from the monotonous grey at Groton. From there we took a walk toward the center of town, enjoying fresh air and traditional European houses lit up by rays of sunlight. Just as we were walking down a narrow rue, the road broadened and a huge castle was sitting on our right.
Renovated by Charles VIII in the 15th century, the Castle of Amboise has been a beast of a fortress since the Roman times. Although the moat and some towers are gone, the castle is still formidable. Due to its relative safety, Charles VIII, Louise de Savoie and François 1er moved in this chateau.  We visited the king’s chamber and the royal dining hall using a Huawei pad which could restore and introduce the purposes of the rooms. We toured the extravagant royal residence, enjoyed the view on the ramparts, and had lunch on the chateau terrace.

In the afternoon we visited Clos Luce, where the Italian artist and innovator Da Vinci lived his last  3 years -invited by the king François 1er- and  died. We walked through his former living room decorated by the drawings of his inventions, drenched in the rich heritage of the culture giant. Though it rained a little, it did not extinguish our excitement for Da Vinci.

We returned to Angers tired but happy. After we practiced ‘waiting while doing nothing’ -a common practice in France!- we had French burgers which were “different” .At 7pm we were picked up by our host, stuffed to the neck by great food, and prepared for a new day.