08 September 2010

Loire à Vélo

We wanted to go somewhere in France we hadn’t been before, so at the very end of our trip we decided to visit the Loire Valley. I had read numerous trip reports about biking along the Loire, and we decided that’s what we wanted to do. We took a (very) early train from Paris and rented our bikes right when we got there. It was a little overcast at first, but it eventually cleared up and was a beautiful day.

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Lincoln did not particularly like his trailer at first, mostly because he was tired. He eventually fell asleep, but was in the most uncomfortable looking position, laying forward on his lap (and Charles.) DSC_1386

The bike route offered some very pleasant scenery.

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Lincoln eventually realized how fun riding in a bike trailer is. All the fun of riding the bike, none of the work.DSC_1395 

We refilled our water bottles at this pump. When we passed it on our way out, I saw people using it, so I knew it worked, but I couldn’t figure out how. Eventually an old lady came out of her house and I asked her about it. (It was a button you push with your foot. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that.)  DSC_1407

Our biking day wasn’t too successful, however, because it turns out we (I) way overestimated how far we could ride in one day. We almost killed ourselves on these bikes and we only made it about half way to our destination. But we did learn some valuable lessons like: Don’t assume it’s short just because it’s measured in kilometers. Always bring your bike shorts, even if they’re buried in the back of a storage shed. Bike trailers are heavy.

After we lived through a night of screaming muscles and a screaming baby in the smallest hotel room known to mankind, we took a shuttle bus to the chateau Chambord. It was a beautiful chateau with a double helix staircase supposedly designed by Leonardo DiVinci.

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It is hard to do this sort of sightseeing with an 18 month old, he was tired and cranky, but wouldn’t take a nap. Finally, after a long fight and some time alone with Daddy, he fell asleep. The problem was, then we had to just sit there while he slept and squander a lot of our chateau time.

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The back of the chateau.


We really enjoyed getting to go on the roof of Chambord. It was beautiful up there and the architecture was amazing!

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This was Francois I’s hunting lodge, so, again, there were “F”s all over the place. Looking up in the center of the double-helix staircase.

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The grounds were also lovely.

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On our shuttle bus we could have gone to two more chateaux, but with Lincoln’s nap, having lunch, and all there was to see at Chambord, that’s the only one we got to do. We took our train back to Paris that evening and the next day we flew home.

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