Read Brian’s blog for what we did today. Here are my pics from today.
Starting at our hotel near the Louvre, we first visited Sainte-Chapelle built between 1242 and 1248 by Loius IX to house the relics of the passion of Christ, including the Crown of Thorns. From there we walked to the Cathedral de Notre Dame, impressive for its size. The most interesting thing we did was Crypte Archeologique, which told the history of the city of Paris by means of the archeological excavations near the site of the Cathedral and its environs. After a lunch at Saint Jacques cafe, Tim found his France pin for his bike saddle bag, and then we walked to Jardin des Tuileries, the gardens behind the Louvre museum. We had coffee there along with chocolate tarts, and Beth went back to the hotel. Earlier she had fallen, not too long after we had started out, and she wanted to get cleaned up and relax a bit. Tim, Mark and I made the deceptively long walk to the Arc de Triomphe, after which we returned to the hotel. In all we walked 10 miles today, and it feels like it!
Tomorrow we all fly home on the same flight.
Since Brian already posted his blog with the itinerary, I will share my pictures for the day.
This was our busiest day yet, with bike riding, site seeing, and traveling. We rode in Orleans and along the Loire for about 90 minutes in the early morning, returned the bikes, walked back to our hotel and had a second breakfast, checked out and then drove to Chartes for a visit to the really impressive Cathedral there. Afterward we drove to Versailles to visit the gardens and the grounds, and then drove to Charles de Gaulle airport to return the rental car. After that, we took a taxi to our hotel in Paris, checked in, and then went to dinner. And now I will share the pictures of the day.
After a very pleasant and tasty lunch in an outdoor cafe right outside of the Cathedral de Chartres, we made the hour long drive to Versailles.
Tomorrow we plan to do normal tourist activities in the Louvre section of Paris, which is where we are staying.
Another perfect day for cycling. Overcast this morning and then sunny this afternoon. We have really been lucky with the weather this year. Another 70 K day which brings our total to 430 K with a little bit more riding tomorrow before we return the bikes.Plan is to then drive to Paris with stops at Chartre and Versailles along the way.
We also return the car at the airport tomorrow. They say it is really difficult to drive in Paris. If it is like what we have experienced so far, the French seem to change the name of the street every couple blocks. That’s what we use street numbers for. Just saying.
Today’s pics for the blog.
Today’s ride was not overly strenuous – it was a mix of two lane roads with cars, farm roads with almost no traffic of any kind, and bike paths. We left our hotel shortly after 8 AM so that we could get to Chateau de Chambord shortly after 9 AM, which was when it opened, and we accomplished that. Here are some photos of Chateau de Chambord, another creation of Francoise I, which he had constructed from 1529 to 1549, and mainly used to hunt on the grounds and to impress his visitors, including the Holy Roman emperor.
After a lunch of coffee and a tomato and cheese baggett (which was excellent), we left to ride to Orleans. On the way, we stopped at Clery- Saint Andre, where there is a Basilica de Notre Dame de Clery, which is where the tomb of Louis XII is located, along with the heart of Charles VIII. Here are some photos of the Basilica.
After a shower and a nap, we walked into the restaurant district of Orleans and had wine, more beer, and a nice dinner.
We walked back to our hotel along a running trail, marked with this symbol.
Tomorrow is our last day of riding. 🙁
It was another perfect day for cycling. We did 65 K with a pretty stiff cross/tail wind that wasn’t much of a factor. Most of the ride was on macadam (roads) again today. We can travel so much faster on macadam as opposed to gravel.
Brian and Mark had very minor falls when they couldn’t get their shoes unclipped after coming to a stop in Amboise because of pedestrians. Mark insists he fell just to keep Brian from suffering the embarrassment alone. Since no one got hurt, I can say it was very comical. A touch of the two stooges.
We ate a light lunch in the town of Amboise after touring the Chateau du Clos Luce, Leonardo da Vinci’s home the last years of his life, 1516 to 1519. Worth seeing but perhaps a touch overpriced. Beth was going to meet us but the parking was limited and she couldn’t get there in time because of a detour due to an accident. She met us for lunch instead and then toured a different chateau while we pedaled off.
Beth passed us coming into Blois (tonight’s destination) but we were able to beat her to the hotel. There is something to be said for traveling by bike in city traffic, especially when there are dedicated bike lanes. I must say that throughout this trip, the motorists have been very courteous to bikers. We assume many drivers also ride bikes.
Walked to a restaurant, as usual. Beautiful vistas in this city. So far, my prettiest city. Didn’t bring my iPad to take pictures tonight. Bummer. Might be able to take a few as we are leaving tomorrow morning.
Today’s pics for the blog.
Tomorrow we plan to stop at Chambord, another chateau. It’s kind of on our way to Orleans where we will spend our last night on the Loire River. It’s hard to believe tomorrow is our last full day of riding. It’s been a great trip. We are thinking next year Germany and then the following year the Provence section of France. We’ll see.
Hope you are enjoying the blog.
It was a little difficult getting out of Tours due to some construction on the bridge that Google Maps wanted us to use to cross over the Loire. But once we got past that, it was pretty smooth sailing on a mix of asphalt farm roads and two lane highways. We made it to Amboise around 11:30 a.m., where we toured the Leonardo de Vinci museum, the last place that he lived and worked in before he died. Here are some photos of the museum.
His workshop and laboratory were the most interesting part of the museum.
After touring the museum we went back down to Amboise and met up with Beth, and had lunch right outside the Chateau de Amboise. Here are some photos we took at lunch.
Beth then visited the Chateau de Amboise while Mark, Tim and I biked about two more hours to Blois.
Tomorrow we ride to Orleans after first stopping for a visit at Chateau de Chambord.
A great day of cycling. 75 k with a tail wind and almost no gravel/dirt paths. Smooth macadam, some on roads (very little traffic) and the rest on bike paths. We really liked Saumur. A nice city but much smaller than Nantes and Angers. There was a possibility of rain today but it only drizzled a few times. Cloudy for most of the ride which is fine.
The second part of the day was the tour of Villandry, built around 1535 and walking around Tours looking for a good restaurant and we found one with the help of the hotel staff. Need to remember to ask the hotel staff every night.
Today’s ride was absolutely awesome! With the exception of only about 1 kilometer, where we were on cobblestones, our roads were either asphalt or concrete. We were almost always in sight of the Loire and we rode through beautiful farmland all day. Our only significant rest stop was on the outskirts of Villany, to which we returned and spent the afternoon after getting into our hotel and showering. Here are some of the photos from today’s ride.
Beth drove us back to Villany where we had our best lunch of this trip and then toured the Chateau and the gardens at Villany. Here are some of the photos from our afternoon at Villany.
After spending about three hours at Villany, we went back to our hotel for a short nap, followed by dinner.
Tomorrow we ride to Blois and on the way we’re planning to stop at Leonardo de Vinci’s last residence, which is now a museum about his life and work.