Biking the Loire, Chartres Cathedral, Dinner in Paris

Tuesday was our last day in France and it was another busy one. We started with breakfast at a patisserie, followed by a bike ride about half as long as the one Monday, on the opposite side of the Loire. We wanted to try and view a chateau we’d seen from the opposite bank, up close. The ride was nice, not too many people and most of the way, no cars either. We passed by a cemetery, where many of the graves had ceramic bouquets and a parcours course with rowers and ellipticals in a small park.

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We found the chateaux and an old wall but the chateaux was private, though a historical monument. The chateau as viewed by the opposite bank is below. I only had a small view of it up close.

 

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We rode back to Blois, had lunch at the same patisserie and returned the bikes. I had the idea of touring the Blois castle, but we ran out of time, it is much larger than we realized. We saw only the exterior of the castle, below.

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We drove to Chartres which is renowned for it’s gothic cathedral, with flying buttresses (developed to hold up the wall so a very high ceiling could be built), the largest gothic cathedral in France. It’s also known for it’s beautiful stained glass windows which I found the highlight of the cathedral, they were gorgeous. We walked around the outside of the cathedral which had pedestrian streets, the centers of which held outdoor restaurants, with shops on either side.

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Our next stop was Charles de Gaulle airport outside Paris. We successfully returned the rental car and checked into our hotel (in reverse order), then took the bus into Paris for dinner. We ate at a hole in the wall near the Opera House, an Asian noodle house which also had the best potstickers I’ve had. Hannah lived in Paris for a semester and had eaten there frequently. We had to wait in line for a table…at 9pm! It was worth it and a nice way to end the day and the trip.

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And that’s a wrap on this trip to Europe. It was fun despite some bumps along the way, most of which will be quickly forgotten (other than the state of the “deluxe” apartment in Bordeaux…that will just become one of those funny stories we’ll retell).

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