Bicycling in France

Hi, all!!  Jordan and I are thrilled to be guest blogging today.  We were honored when Suzanne extended the invitation.

 

 

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Regular readers of our blog know that Jordan and I and our husbands enjoy bicycling.  Jordan has ridden across the country three times, I have ridden once, and together we rode from southern Spain to Dakar, Senegal.  That is a whole other story in itself!!!

 

 

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Last September Mr. Autumn and I rode from the top to the bottom of France.  And guess what!  We just returned home from riding two weeks there this year. We started in Paris and spent two weeks riding to parts of Burgundy.

 

 

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I thought it would be fun to take you on a little ride with me, French style.

 

 

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No matter where you are, when you are bicycling, you can see, hear, and smell things so much more.

 

 

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These are just some of the typical village sights to see when riding in France.

 

 

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Notice the brick-paved street.

 

 

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When riding through a village, you don’t always see a lot of greenery.  That is reserved for their back yards and court yards.  Because the villages are so old, the streets are often very narrow.

 

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Burgundy is a really popular wine region, and the grapes were about ready to be harvested when we were there.

  

 

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Each year I rent a boat and organize a bike and boat trip in Europe.  The boat is owned by a couple out of Amsterdam.  They give bike and boat tours in the Netherlands during tulip season and then sail in France the rest of the season, which ends in October.

 

 

 

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Once a barge, the boat now sleeps 18 passengers.  Several companies in the Netherlands use converted barges for bike and boat trips.  The amenities are simple, but the food is delish.

 

 

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We have rented the entire boat from them for a two-week trip for the past eight years.

 

 

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On a typical day, we leave the boat at 9 a.m. and see sights like these all day long.

 

 

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Occasionally we stop for some of these.

 

 

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We meet the boat in our destination village for that day, usually around 4 p.m.

 

 

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We spend the evenings eating great food, playing board games, walking in the village and basically just hanging out.

 

 

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Our bike trip last year in France was not with the boat.  Mr. Autumn and I stayed in hotels each night and our mission was to go from the top to the bottom in 15 days.  It was much more grueling – between 60 and 70 miles a day with lots of mountains to climb.

 

 

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It was so beautiful and we had such a great time, that we decided to do this year’s boat trip in France at a much more leisurely pace at between 30 and 40 miles a day.

 

 

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For our 2013 bike and boat trip, we will be meeting the boat in Amsterdam and cycling to Bruges, Belgium.

 

 

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The trip is two weeks long running from May 25 to June 8, 2013.  The terrain will be mostly flat and almost all of the ride will be on bicycle routes.

 

 

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If you or any of your friends enjoy bicycling and would like to join our trip next year, send me an email.  I will be happy to send you all of the information.

 

 

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Compared to most travel in Europe, the price is very reasonable.

 

 

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When traveling by bicycle, you get to see a country up close and personal.  You get to see their real world – not just their tourist world.

 

 

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I love the roof line of this house and just had to stop.  Taking photos is super easy on a bicycle.

 

 

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Well, here we are at the end of our day.  The ride was great, wasn’t it???  I hope you enjoyed coming along.  Now it’s time to get cleaned up, have soup, and then eat dinner about an hour later.  We’ll stroll in the village in the evening and maybe stop in for a nice glass of wine.

 *****

 

Please come visit us at The 2 Seasons.  We post Monday through Friday and feature budget decorating, before and afters, recipes, travel, gardening.  We each have our own approach since we are in two different seasons of our lives.

 

Take care.