Notre sojourn en France commence

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With the assistance of a helpful but mono-lingual SNCF travel adviser in Lille last night we booked train travel today Lille – Amiens – Paris (Gare du Nord) || Paris (Saint-Lazare) – Caen – Pontorson/Mont-St-Michel (4 changes and and a transfer between stations in Paris). So we had a day off the bikes and the trip worked fine including the 7-minute change at Amiens. Our bikes travelled free and no reservation was possible for them. Facilities for bikes were limited but few other cyclists were travelling so we had no problems. We could have blown our tickets had we been beaten by others.

The weather turned cold overnight  but we had a quick outing to the Lille Citadel (star-shaped fort on Lille’s eponymous island) before boarding the train. We travelled up the valley of the Somme to Amiens and spotted a few military cemeteries. A feature of the day was the number of small towns sporting massive cathedrals (Bayeux, Coutances) – some with gilt cupolas (Albert).

Unsurprisingly, there were many heavily-armed military police in Paris including both railway stations we visited.

Once we had cleared the Parisian sprawl this afternoon, we were treated to green, rural and forest scenery and were keen to get riding again, but we stuck to our plan and arrived in Pontorson at 7:30. We had tantalising glimpses of Mont-St-Michel as we approached. We are now 1ᵒ 30′ West of Greenwich but 2 hours ahead of UTC so we had plenty of daylight to enjoy the medieval festival that was rocking this little town tonight.

We had the ‘medieval’ plat de jour in a small restaurant and struck up a conversation (in French) with Jean-Yves and Noelle at the adjacent table.

One Response to “Notre sojourn en France commence”

  1. Rosalind Powrie Says:

    Venison for dinner?

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