l'ecole du vin (wine school)
4 rue du clocher
011-33-5-57-24-61-01
here you'll find an informal introduction to wine tasting, with 90-minute classes in french or english. reserve a space in your language.

in amboise
mini-chateaux

011-33-2-47-23-44-44
see the 38 most popular châteaux of the loire in 1/125th the time - the scale to which these marvelous models are built, each in their proper setting, in this outdoor park. kids like it, adults love it. open at night in the summer.

near azay-le-rideau
villaine-les-rochers

cooperative vannerie (wicker) de villaines
011-33-2-47-45-43-03
in the spring, watch willows being harvested and dried, then see a wide array of wicker furnishings, baskets, etc. being made by hand; all available for purchase.

on the right track


here's everything you need to know about traveling by tgv in france.

because american airlines code­shares with sncf to 15 french cities, they can book you all the way through to aix en provence, angers, avignon, bordeaux, le mans, lille, lyon, marseille, montpellier, nantes, nîmes, poitiers, rennes, tours, or valence. american can also arrange your travel to brussels' city center via its codeshare with thalys, the belgian train.

after arriving at paris' charles de gaulle airport, you'll retrieve your baggage, clear customs and immigration, then head to the tgv station (located at the far end of terminal 2, near halls c and d) and exchange your aa ticket for a train ticket and seat assignment on your tgv. voilà. there's no reason to make multiple phone calls or decipher train schedules. aa can do all of that for you.

at the station, you must composter, or electronically stamp, your ticket in an orange pedestal located where you proceed to the quay or platform. since there is often no conductor verifying your ticket once you are aboard, this is a form of honor system with potential penalties if a conductor or controller later discovers you are not respecting it.