Wine and Cheese in Saumur
The beauty of any country lies not on all the big monuments, but on its beautiful people and its small villages. Saumur is one of those small villages. It is small, quiet, and perfect for a day trip. It is only 30 minutes by train from where I live in Angers, France. The town is cute and totally what you expect from a small, provincial village in France (if you need a mental pictures think “Beauty and the Beast”).
I had previously visited the area of Saumur during a field trip with my Ligerian Ecology class, and I was immediately drawn to this town because of the cute little castle on the hill. I made a mental note to visit the town later when I had more time. I planned a visit with my roommates Christine, Suzie, and Kat. We took an early train into Saumur and got there around 10 in the morning. We headed to the office of tourism to get a map of the town, but we were already armed with a guide book that Christine owns. We definitely had the castle of Saumur as our first priority. So we slowly made our way up the hill, after grabbing a small bite to eat and walking thorough the flea market. When we got to the castle when bought our tickets at 4 euros each for the student discount. We entered the castle and were immediately greeted by a friendly guide that explained the best way to explore the castle. We made our way through some of the small collections the castle had to offer, one that included ceramic pieces from France (this one was my favorite because I love old plates!). We were also able to get a great view from the town and of course do a photo session (four tourist girls, of course we are going to take a million pictures!). The castle as a whole is very small and it only takes about 40 minutes to go through it. Another photo shoot followed, and shortly after we made our way to a wine bar that was recommended to us by a friend. Here, we quickly made friends with the server and he recommended a great bottle of wine along with a plate of cheese and meat. We enjoyed the warm comfort of the bar and shared great conversation for about an hour. We spoke to our server and he pretty much sold us on getting a bottle of wine from his store. We ended up buying a few bottles of wine, and left them at the store while we explored the village a bit more before we had to return home. We walked the streets and found St. Peter’s church, wandered through some of the small cobblestones alleys, and ended up in a small park that overlooked the village. We sat and drank some water and ate some small snacks and just enjoyed each other’s company while we stared at the landscape in front of us. We then slowly made our way back to the train station (picking up our wine on the way). I should also mention that Saumur is home to the “Cadre Noir” which we did not have time to explore, but this academy is related to the equestrian military of France.
Overall, I enjoyed my day in Saumur and would recommend anyone in the area to check out this beautiful small town.