Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Stage 13 Cergy - Montreuil. We slept in..yes we really did arriving after! The petit dejeuner had closed. Well we probably needed the sleep. Seeing our crestfallen faces the young man clearing the tables etc.. took pity on us and set out croissants and coffee. So we set off on good heart. Unfortunately things turned difficult quite quickly. Neither the Garmin nor Google maps were starting from the same point so finding the starting point was not easy. Then at the crucial point when we should have joined the Velo Route, we discovered it was still under water. Consternation, the Garmin was no longer viable and the smart phone was not able to use the French network. We had to go by guess and a lot of asking directions, some more helpful than others. We also had Dale on the end of the 'phone, but what had been planned as a nice short ride 2 - 3 hours max. Turned into a bit of a marathon and we did not reach St Denis until mid afternoon. Riding past the Oise and the Seine it was clear both rivers were still very high. After a short rest and a visit to the Basilica we felt better. At present there is a music festival in St Denis, with concerts in the Basilica. We were able to visit the Tombs of the kings but not through the main door. It was perfect, not only did we have the visual splendour of Abbé Suger's creation, the history of the kings of France presented through their effigies and an interesting exhibition of robes inspired by the queens, we also had the rehearsal for a performance of a very little performed Requiem by Donnizetti. It was wonderful. Then back on the bikes for a hair raising ride across Paris to Montreuil. Over cobbles, down towpaths, across main roads, weaving through traffic - in France it is permissible to cross some red lights! following our guide, Dale, who had kindly ridden over to meet us at St Denis. And so to this dream house in the centre of Montreuil. An old agricultural building - 18th century - now rescued a revived with love and care. Great wooden beams, tiny spiralling stairs, stone floors - a well in the courtyard and a garden full of green and frogs. We were introduced to Gertrude, Guinevere, and Genevieve! What wonderful welcomes we have had along our journey; here in Paris, thank you Gilles and Dale,
Now we have to rethink. Nemours is not a possible destination since the town had to be completely evacuated last week because of the floods. So today we go the Fontainbleu, a relatively short ride - tomorrow e will have a long day as we head for Auxerre.

1 comment:

  1. So glad you've had the chance to visit Gilles and Dale in Montreuil: we love them so much and their wonderful house. Hope that you manage to deal with the current (and future) sunburn and that it doesn't spoil things. Dr Garmin has been looking at two possible approaches to going from Arbonne La Forêt to Auxerre: avoiding any chance of flooded roads in the Yonne valley means lots of climb in/out of valleys draining into it. Would make 125km really tough. Worth trying to follow the Yonne.