Before I talk about the Loire, I want to talk about what I did on Thursday: The Musée d'Orsay. This museum specializes in the 19th century. Specifically, the guy who wrote Paris to the Moon alleges, academic art from the 19th century. There is a plan where one can see this museum without gnawing their own arm off to escape:
At one end of the museum there's a series of escalators and a sign that says direct access to the impressionists. Go up that escalator!! The good stuff is all the tippy top of the museum. Go up to the top and work your way down. When you feel like you can't stand it anymore, then leave. You've already seen the best stuff and it just gets worse from there on (although do try to see the Rodin on your way out).
Ah, the 19th century! The century of genius! The century of (white) man's domination over nature (and other people)! The century of huge paintings of battles! The century of a bunch of really ghastly art starting outside the museum and spreading to the first couple of floors. Outside, while standing in line, look behind you. See the statue of the elephant? See how it's foot is caught in a snare? See how a much smaller predator is going to bite it and eat it before it even dies? Ok, now look to your right. See the statue of the horse? She how it's falling onto the anti-horse battlefield weapon? See how alarmed the horse looks? Ok, now look between. See the rhino? Something bad is about to happen to that rhino. We don't know what will happen. Maybe it will fall on the prickly pear somehow. Maybe somebody is lurking, waiting to kill it. Maybe a snare has not yet been sprung. But really, only disaster could possibly await that rhino. Now it's your turn to enter the museum!
Anyway, why would you put all the crap right in the part most easily accessible and then hide the good stuff so far away? This is why I did not go into any museums this last weekend.