Loire by Velo: Nantes, heading east

Pardon me while I cry myself a river because our trip in France is nearly over! 

In one week or less (less to see the Tour finale!), we will be pedaling into Paris… And a week from that, boarding a plane back home to Alaska. Thankfully, we still have a full couple weeks: Leonado da Vinci’s chateau, PARIS & all that comes with it, my birthday (!!!) and more biking!!

Continuing to recognize the wonderful people who have come into our lives on this trip: Hans, from Amsterdam. We passed him, he passed us, on and off until we made acquaintance at Bastille Day fireworks. He was on a long tour of Europe and making his way home. I really, really enjoyed talking with Hans and seeing him on and off trail for nearly 3 days. At our last visit, we thought he was way ahead of us, but he popped up from behind and we had a little longer to chat before we said final goodbyes.

And then, the Kiwis! Marty & Mike from New Zealand. They’re in France to follow the Tour. Such great guys, they got ahead of us through a shortcut and waited for us to bike into Nantes together and share beers. Fun guys, we thought we might see them again before heading separate directions, but no dice. 

We have exchanged emails with most of the people on our journey and hope to keep in touch. They all have carte blanche invitations to Alaska/our wedding (date TBD). It’s made the trip to meet and get to know new people.

 

Wild Creatures are Watching!

  

Nantes History Museum

  

Mechanical elephant at the Island of Machinez in Nantes

 
From Nantes, we got off the Velodessy and started along the Loire Valley. The first day was boring – can you believe it? Flat, industrial and a little grimy. C’est la vie – this is a bike tour of France and we are happy to see the beautiful and the authentic.

And lucky us, the Loire Valley from Angers to Blois is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and for the past few days we have been biking between chateaux,  vineyards and old cave dwellings as we make our way north. Life is good!

 

Sunflower field – for you, Barbie!

  

Bike gang @ camp in Saumur. Dozens of velotourists!

  

Growww, my precious! So I can drink you!

  

Open air marche in Saumur, the Pearl of the Anjou

  

Adam biking into the troglodyte dwelling

  

Beaucoup limestone in the Loire Valley made for ideal dwellings in the 12th century

  

Homes, markets, wines and more existed in the Tufa stones.

  

Making the most of the environment and surroundings – troglodytes in the Loire Valley

  

A modern limestone carving in the Tufa stone

  

Modern dwelling in the Tufa

  

And… we started our day at a wine cabe tour/tasting: two more bottles of sparkling wine aging in our panniers! We don’t mind the extra weight.

 

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