|A longer than usual pedal today – 64 km. Enjoyed reasonably good weather (cool and dry) and a well marked route.
Drove past a beautiful lake in the middle of the forest, and then a gorgeous park. Our pastry break du jour was in Le Thoureil. (Yesterday we learned a Tour de France cyclist normally consumes 9,000 calories a day, and we are working hard to do the same….)
We biked past several fields of flowers, which we assume are grown commercially for florists – marigolds, sweet peas, lavender. Gorgeous!
As we approached Angers we noticed slate being used in house construction in the burbs. Not surprisingly, a few miles later we encountered several slate quarries, and eventually an old quarry turned into a park, which made a great lunch stop. Slate is a very popular roofing material here.
The highlight of the day was taking a small ferry (called a bac) across the Authion river. It held a maximum of 5 people and bikes, and you had to pull it by hand.
We arrived in Angers around 2:00. Angers is the City of Cointreau, producing 15 million litres per year. It is also a thriving university town, known for its tapestries.
A walk about town after a quick hydration break took us the Cathedral of Saint Maurice, built in the 12 century, with two very impressive twin spires. We also strolled around the Chateau d’Angers – massive and imposing. Essentially it is a walled fortress with 17 towers.
As we strolled about we came across some scary looking fellows dressed in black, carrying machine guns, who just crawled out of the river. We were a little taken aback until we realized it was some sort of military exercise.