Friday, June 18, 2010

ABC and Football

The chateau at Chenonceau is a pretty big chateau. This whopping great castle was built over the Cher River. That's right, it straddles this huge river and the water gushes underneath it all day, every day. Catherine de Medici lived there and ruled France from a little room after Henri II, her husband, died. Catherine had five daughters, all of whom became queens. One of these was Mary, Queen of Scots. Now most of you will know this, but I thought I'd just run it by you in case you didn't.

5,000 people come through this castle on a quiet day. 20,000 hurtle through when it's busy. That's a lot of peeps! Not so many yesterday, but still a tidy few. Some rain about, but that made it an ideal time to 'do' our paying entry castle. Here are some other interesting things about the castle. In World War One it was used as a hospital for wounded soldiers. Another interesting thing is that in WW2 it straddled the border between occupied France and Vichy ("Free") France. We are told that many hundreds of French made it into Free France through this chateau. But here's a question: How the he'll did the Nazis not twig to this? I mean, "Hullo!". Over there is a castle. It stretches from Nazi France to Free France. OF COURSE there are people scorching across of a night time. "HULLO!!!!". Anyhow, that's what happened. Appazzas, a great big gun (Nazi) was trained on this chateau for the whole duration of the war, in readiness to 'take it out'. Thank goodness that never happened.

It's a gorgeous castle (though not my favourite). Gardens magnificent, green frogs making a racket in the non-flowing, part of the moat. Extraordinary. Only time for one chateau in any case today. Too much time spent wandering around thisy... You know who would love it here, don't you: Marg Molloy and Fran Vaughan! Oh yeah, and Pete's duck Vic. He could gobble up all those frogs in the moat.

Arriving 'home' late afternoon we called in for a drink at a little bar near the station in Esvres-sur-Indre. The resident afternoon drinking team advised us that the Big Match was on at 8:30. We decided to join them later on in the evening.

So, after a lovely dinner at home in 'our' chateau we mosied on down to join the party. The first thing to note was the relative absence of supporters. No more than 30 really, if that. It wasn't that there were a whole heap of bars around Esvres. No. There just weren't the fans that we expected. And it didn't stop there! We arrived just before half time and Tony had struck up conversations with the chaps at the bar in his Fluent Fronch. Graz had whipped the pants off some little kid at darts and Jude, Liz, Andy and Graeme were lolling on the couch drinking alcohol in one form or another. Let's face it, everyone was drinking alcohol (except the kids).

Now here's the strange thing. When Mexico scored a goal, everyone in the pub cheered! This was a genuine cheer and not a glum face in sight. The second goal by the Mexicans BROUGHT THE HOUSE DOWN and soon after that people began to drift away home. "What is going on here?", I hear you ask. We did too. Apparently, the French in these here parts believe that the French football team is made up of spoiled, overpaid losers who fight harder for their club than their country. They were not well thought of here, let me tell you. [The situation was different in Tours, we were told by Andy and Graz, where the 0-0 score in their first match. Great French support there, apparently. Go figure!]

Gotta go on another Ramble

Hoo Roo,


1 comment:

  1. I can see why the locals were pleased their team lost. Our papers were full of how the team had a big sulk and refused to train. Adds local colour to the mighty game of football.
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