In previous experience have found that the less expectations we have of a place the better it is. Cases in point - Rome (high expectations) and Spain (no expectations). If there was ever a stop that we had no or even low expectations of it would be Tours. Plonked right in the middle of La Tomatina, San Sebastian, Paris and Disneyland in our itinerary it had some pretty wet your pants exciting things to compete with. With comments from us such as 'Ah, we'll just exchange photos/put photos on FB/book flights/email.....' in Tours cos it's going to be s***. Not a very nice thing to say, should never judge somewhere before you've been there....and won't make the same mistake again. Tours is actually really cool!
There were stunning chateaux, good shopping, good food, the biggest markets we've ever seen and lovely French people who really appreciated our interesting attempts at their language. Saying 'Bonjour' at 11pm at night is almost always guaranteed a giggle. Also quite problematic if the first few things you say are so good they continue to speak long sentences to you in French....normally greeted by a very blank stare from us.
A great place to stop and rejuvenate before running around Paris like headless chickens for two days. Visited Chenonceau - a chateau in the Loire Valley about 30 minutes out of Paris on the train. Explored the chateau and gardens, it was really cool...built over a river with a moat around it. Only negative point was the scaffolding covering almost the whole front! Seems to be a common theme on the old buildings throughout Europe, however they are good enough to get a giant sheet that covers the scaffolding with a picture of what it looks like underneath...very thoughtful. Saw these animals that looked like giant water rats but dug holes in the ground so we concluded they were gophers (like on Winne the Pooh).