Friday, 11 October 2019

Going Underground


Visiting the former underground limestone quarry at Bourré that has transformed itself into a speciality mushroom farm is always a fascinating experience. Because the mushroom cultivation is rotated around the galleries to help prevent diseases getting a foothold in the crop, one visit is never the same as the next. Here is a selection of photos from our last visit, including some from the underground village, created as record of what the beautiful white Bourré stone once looked like. Now the stone has run out and quarrying stopped, any repairs to chateaux such as Chenonceau have to be done with stone from near Poitiers, which is slightly green and not so pure white.

Much of the former limestone quarry looks like this.
Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

A detail in the underground village.
Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

An underground chamber, with a map of the galleries painted on the ceiling, 
and miners' picks on the wall.
Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
In the middle of this chamber is a fenced off hole with some steps down to the bottom. This was a void, discovered by our guide's dog, who fell through the floor more than a metre.

Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Old miners lamps.
Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

A colonnade in the underground village.
Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.

Yellow Oyster Mushrooms.
Photographed by Susan Walter. Tour the Loire Valley with a classic car and a private guide.
Holes are poked in the sides of the bale so the mushrooms emerge as bouquets. When a bouquet is picked another will grow out of the hole. If the top was taken off the bale entirely, as is done with the button mushrooms, all the oyster mushrooms would fruit simultaneously in one big block out the top, which is not so good for commercialising them.

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For details of our private guided tours of chateaux, gardens, wineries, markets and more please visit the Loire Valley Time Travel website. We would be delighted to design a tour for you.

We are also on Instagram, so check us out to see a regularly updated selection of our very best photos. 

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