A few miscellaneous observations

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We have seen quite a few touring cyclists along the way, including a family group yesterday (incroyable!), parents and children all decked out with Ortliebs. At Notre Dame de Laon there were two heavily loaded bikes parked at the entrance with a child’s trailer. If you look closely you’ll see a wooden scoot-along bike for the child. We didn’t meet the owners.

Along the Meuse there were several holiday cruise boats equipped with lots of bikes. Dutch people take holidays on these boats and use the bikes for local transport at the various ports where they stop. Just in case you didn’t know this, the Meuse becomes the Maas when it gets to the Netherlands.

There is a competition here, a bit similar to our Tidy Towns, called Ville et Villages Fleuris. This explains the extraordinary displays of flowers everywhere in public places, on bridges, in almost every spot where a small garden bed can be created or planter placed.

There is little of the tasteless and ubiquitous advertising – billboards, signs, sandwich boards – that we are used to seeing everywhere in Australia. Even places like McDonalds here are only subtly signed. No big Ms looming over the countryside. This is good.

We have seen our first fields of sunflowers (tournesols) and our first vines just outside Orainville.

Where's Rosalie?

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