We left our lovely hosts in Provins at about 8:15am, after a big breakfast of toasted brioche, honey bread and yoghurt. Maryse and Christian recommended us to cycle off through the old medieval quarter, and so after saying goodbye, we pedalled off first to the boulangerie and then to the Tour Césare and medieval streets- up on top of a short steep hill!
The first part of the day wasn’t especially thrilling; we ploughed up to Brie on several straight D-roads and got a good distance closer to Paris before we got bored / it turned into an N-road. With some interesting diversions around Villeneuve, including a garage-full of jolly mechanics giving us (insufficient) directions, we then decided to follow the river Seine and wiggle our way through. However, they were lovely and saw that our water bottles were getting low and took them to fill up without us even asking! Along one of the roads, Joanne decided not to point out that there was a huge dead rabbit (probably even a hare), which I (Zara) then drove right across traumatising her for the next quarter of an hour or so and then having rabbit fluff stuck to her tyres!
Paris is (not) surprisingly big; it’s noisy and chaotic and every few streets seems to hold a mini centre. It took an age until we came to the Notre Dame, and then we explored around the Jardins de Tuileries and rode down the Champs Elysee. We paused by the Arc de Triomphe for photos and then wove our way through the honking traffic to the Eiffel Tower!
We then had to navigate our way out of Paris which was far harder than going in. We eventually got to Ville d’Avry and called Nadia and Christian to say we’d be a bit late, and then climbed up over the forested hill into Versailles. Nadia and Christian met us outside Novotel and we had a splendidly filling dinner of spag bol, bread and icecream with langues du chat.
After dinner we were given a car tour of Versailles which was good; we saw the floodlit Chateau, the medieval quarter, the various market halls and wandered through past the cathedral.
Height climbed: 645m
Moving time: 7h35
Average speed: 17kph