2005 France

Paris to Loire River, Normandy, back to Paris

This was a shorter trip at 18 days. We rode from Paris south to the Loire River. We rode down the Loire to Angers then took the train north to Bayeux on the Normandy coast. We rode east along the coast across the Seine on the beautiful new bridge to Le Havre. We took several trains and did some biking back to Roissey at the Paris airport.

More detail to come.

 Sept 8, 2005 – Toronto to Paris

We put the bikes into plastic bags provided by Air Canada.

Sept 9, 2005 – CDG to St Germaine Les Corbeils – 30 km

Bikes arrived in good shape. We found the Air France bus to Orly airport. Orly is to the south of Paris. This allowed us to avoid the city on our way to the Loire. We had a room booked in St Germain Les Corbeils.
We used pictures from the web which showed the best bike route out of Orly airport. We were on roads most of the way, but did have a stretch of 7km where there was bike path. We are staying at an ETAP hotel. Cheap and functional. We shun the MacDonalds across the street and go the restaurant in the nearby Campanile hotel. Good meal at a reasonable price.

Sept 10, 2005 – St Germaine Les Corbeils to Fontainebleau – 50km

We passed on the ETAP “buffet” which was just bread & jam. Found bakery and had croissants. We rode through Corbeil Essones on the busy N7. There was a bike path here. We turned onto the D948. It rained off & on into Milly la Foret. We went to tourist office who were quite helpful. Hotels here were full. They found us one in Fontainbleu.
It was raining harder so we stopped for lunch. Ordered a baguette. It was huge. Could only eat half. Also had frites with mayo. Great lunch!
The rain eased off as we rode through forest into Fontainebleu. Checked into Hotel Ibis. It was Saturday night and it was busy as we walked around. Stopped for a great draft beer (Kronenbourg 1667) at La Taverne. Had dinner here as well. Pizza for Judy, lamb for me. Good value.

Sept 10, 2005 – Fontainebleau to Pithiviers – 48 km

We slept in. Went out at 9:30 and lined up at the boulanger – 2 croissants €1.60! Stopped at the huge Fontainebleu Chateau. Didn’t go in. We got a list of hotels in Pithiviers from the tourist office. Cloudy & cool to start. We took D152 SW through the forest. A few hills to walk up. Lunch was in Puisveau. We had the rest of the baguette from yesterday.

Leftover Baguette

The afternoon brought rolling country through farmland. In Pithiviers, we found the Relais de la Poste hotel just as it started to rain. An old hotel, but reasonably priced. It was Sunday night and quiet in the city. Dinner was Italian. More good food.


Sept 10, 2005 – Pithiviers to Orleans – 60 km

Out for breakfast croissants. Watched as the beautiful chestnut trees in the long narrow square were cut down. They had some kind of disease.
We followed D921 all the way to the Loire. There was separate bike path for the first 5km.
The road was not too busy until we got near the river. Stopped in Fay aux Loges at a supermarket and bought baguette, meat, cheese and tomato. At St Denis L’Hotel we found a park bench overlooking the Loire and made lunch. We crossed the river and rode into Orleans on the quieter south shore. 
Found a decent hotel downtown. Had beer & tea in Place Martroi with a statue of Joan of Arc looking at us. Very modern streetcars.


Sept 10, 2005 – Orleans to Beaugency –  28 km

Found a supermarket and bought lunch things. We cross over the Loire and bike on the quieter roads on the south side. We stop for lunch in Jouy le Potier.
Our plan is to meet our friends Jerry & Judie in Beaugency. They are an American couple we met the previous year while biking down the Danube. As we cross the bridge into Beaugency we meet Judie out for a walk.