Schedule & Touring

8:00 - 9:00 a.m.
9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
1:00 - 6:00 p.m.
6:00 - 7:00 p.m.
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
After dinner
Taiji-Qigong Practice
Excursions or Free Time
Gourmet Dinner
Optional Chinese Movie or Documentary

Wednesday, September 13th

• Students arrive at the Mill.
• Pre-dinner orientation
• Welcome Dinner
• Optional excursion at noon to the Farmer's market
in Le Mans.

Thursday, September 14th

• After breakfast we gather for Taiji-Qigong practice. In the afternoon we tour to Chateau Brézé and enjoy a picnic lunch on the grounds. The castle of Brézé is a listed ancient monument since 1060. It was renovated during the 16th century and again in the 19th. Today it is occupied by descendants of ancient lords and features elaborate underground passage ways, creating a chateau within the Chateau. We also visit the castle's winery famous for its whites within a region known for reds. We return to the Mill to relax and dine on a gourmet meal with wine.

Friday, September 15th

• Taiji-Qigong practice following breakfast. Excursion and picnic lunch will be at the Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud, which was the richest and most important monastery in France before the Revolution. Founded in 1101 by Robert d'Arbrissel, the Abbey has the distinction of being ruled over for centuries by the most powerful of abbesses.  In 2001 Fontevraud celebrated it's 900th Anniversary. The abbey contains the tombs of Eleanor of Aquitaine, her husband King Henry II of England, their son King Richard I of England, their daughter Joan, their grandson Raymond VII of Toulouse, and Isabella of Angoulême, wife of their son King John. After tea and pastries in the old town, we will visit the 35-year artisan soapmaker Martin de Candre, famous for its hand-made herbal soaps (a great place to stock up on gifts). We return to the Mill to relax and dine on a gourmet meal with wine.

Saturday, September 16th

• Taiji-Qigong practice following breakfast. Our afternoon excursion includes a visit to the Farmer’s Market in Saumur. There we will purchase fresh local delicacies for our lunch, to be enjoyed on the banks of the Loire river. There will be some free time to shop, enjoy a cafe, or rent bicycles. Afterwards, we travel on to Chateau de Villandry, famous for its formal gardens landscaped with vegetables. There we will have dinner and enjoy an outdoor classical concert among the magnificent and natural surroundings.

Sunday, September 17th

• Breakfast and Taiji-Qigong practice in the morning. Our afternoon excursion is to the Chateau de Chenonceaux. Also known as Château des Dames, Chenonceaux owes a large part of its charm to women: it was built in 1513 by Katherine Briçonnet, then made even more elegant by Diane de Poitiers and Catherine de Médicis, and saved from the rigours of the French Revolution by Mrs Dupin. It’s location on the river, the formal garden and lovely park surrounding it, add to the impression of delicate grace emanating from the Chateau. We will visit the wine cellar whose entrance is located in the Jardin Vert, to sample and purchase the different wines produced there. We return to the Mill to relax and unwind before our farewell dinner.

Monday, September 18th



The Mill

Chateau Brézé
Abbaye Royale de Fontevraud
Chateau de Villandry
Chateau de Chenonceaux

chenonceaux© Patricia Barry 2005