It was such a beautiful morning I couldn't resist walking down to the river. Here are a few photos that I took - it's 8am and the sun illuminates everything in such a lovely way, highlighting the tuffeau limestone of the houses along the riverside and the old boats on the water.
Most of the houses along the riverside have these wonderful terraces which enjoy spectacular views over the river Loire.
This is the Tour des Hollandais built by the Dutch Van Voorn family around 1670. They were négociants in wine and made their fortune in Le Thoureil becoming important vineyard owners, transporting their wines to Nantes and further afield using the waterways. These towers were built so that the merchant owners could watch their wares going along the river.
This is l'Hotel des Mariniers - a former hotel (during the 15th century and after) which used to accommodate merchants and fisherman who were using the ancient port. The tower dates back to the 14th century.
The school in Le Thoureil - it has one class of CM1 & CM2 children (numbering between 12 and 30 depending upon the year). The canteen has amazing views over the river.
Waling down to the riverside you pass a couple of vineyards that look lovely in the early morning light.
The vines are pushing now and the shoots are beginning to form in this beautiful weather.
From the top of the hill where I shot the video yesterday. This morning you can see the bridge at Les Rosiers sur Loire. It looks more like a painting than a photo.
Vines in the early morning sunlight.
If you join us for the la Loire - Secrets of the River tour this year, Le Thoureil is where the old sand dredging boat is docked ready to welcome us during the afternoon. Alain Gillot is an experienced mariner and a local man who knows the history of this ancient port as well as that of the river itself.