On Saturday, we roamed around Blois for our obligatory town exploration. On the last seminar in Narbonne, we played A Barter Trading Game, exchanging objects with locals. This time, each group was assigned to a sense with which the town should be explored. I ended up being in the visual group. Compared to hearing, tasting and smelling, we thought we came off best, but the task really wasn’t as easy as it seemed. Eventually, we settled for doors. Simple doors, double doors, small and big doors, bright and dark, doors with stickers on them, and so on.
But of course, Blois isn’t just doors! Apart from the grey concrete area around our hostel, it’s a dainty, tranquil place built on hills, with many winding staircases and old small houses. Especially the historic city center with all its small alleys, random walls and buildings covered in plants is truly charming. And then there is the river Loire, representative buildings like the Château Royal or the 16th century Cathédrale Saint-Louis and a few beautiful spots with blossoming trees or tiny parks. We kind of missed out on the market going on, but in the center it’s rather buzzy and you do get to see the people that live here. Though the other parts of the town seem a little deserted at times, it’s very pretty!
Also, I learned that Blois has been more important in history than I’d thought. Not only did kings of France and England originate from here, but it’s also served as main military base to Joan of Arc and the relief army of Orléans.