Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Stage 14 Montreuil - Arbonne la Foret ( Fontainbleu) two weeks on the road.; and what fun it has bee despite the frustrations of  finding our way through the anonymity of modern towns. Today has been a real case in point. As mentioned , we have had to revise our route as a result of the recent floods. During dinner, Agnes  friend, Solange, mentioned that she had an uncle who lived near Fontainbleu who might be prepared to put us up for the night - as indeed he was. So that was arranged and it looked as if it should have been a very easy day. It started well. Dale guided us through the first part across the Bois de Vincennes, then we were on the direct - if rather unpleasant road out of Paris to the Forest of Sanart. Here we were able to ride across on a route Verte away from " the madding crowd". It came to an end all too soon, but with the sun shining we decided to stop for lunch in Soisy sur Seine, a very ordinary baguette eaten to the accompaniment of the Grand National of Trot - the big trotting races being held that day; the cafe was also the betting shop. We then continued - and as we might have expected things didn't quite go to plan. First a rather lengthy detour round the forest routes of Cresson (unplanned), then a struggle to get through Melun without going through Melun (impossible); the result a 5 hour ride instead of 3. Never mind we rode through Barbizon, thinking of Millet, Theodore Rousseau et al - what an attractive little,e place (St Ives ?) then to Arbonne where we have been wined and dined royally. Another fantastic house that belongs to the pages of a novel, not ssure by whom, but definitely fictional. - it seems to have been untouched since the beginning of the 20th century and is full of the most wonderful and extraordinary things -  we are up in the attic studio surrounded by paintbrushes, maquettes, a deconstructed suit of armour not to mention a lady wearing the most fetching gold cloche hat.  Sweet dreams! Tomorrow is goi g to be a looooong day as we cycle to Auxerre. Once again no map but very detailed directions. Keep your fingers crossed, I want photo of the cathedral before it is too dark.

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