During the trip to Tours, I managed to experience a small but terrifying part of the Loire – France’s longest river.
Words escape me in attempting to describe it: It is a wild, wide force of nature with a long and interesting history. It is a fascinating basin of currents aggressively flowing in different directions. An attraction for adventurers ducks that let the river carry them before they make u-turns and fly back up the river for yet another ride down. At the same time it is the perfect mise-en-scene for a jog or a romantic stroll along its banks.
Apparently the Loire is also one of the few European rivers that have proven to be particularly difficult to ‘tame’. So, unlike the yielding Seine that serenely runs around and through Paris, La Loire is the more ferocious sister to the docile Seine. Even the experience of walking on the “Pont Wilson” , one of the bridges over the Loire is nothing like taking a calm walk over one of the bridges over the Seine: Where the much narrower bridges of Paris gently lean over the subdued and redirected watercourses of the Seine, walking over the Loire on Pont Wilson is a dizzying experience of being suspended over what is a terribly independent river.
Beyond what can be seen of the Loire from Tours are banks adorned with stunning chateaux – and hopefully, I will get the chance to see and explore these soon.