(Last articles were in French, so this time I’m switching to English)
The meeting point was at 6:30 at the Arc de Triomphe, which means I left at 5:15 from my place, ouch that’s early!
As some were late (I don’t blame anyone, but still 😉 ) I had time to realize the corner of the Champs Elysées is occupied by the embassy of Qatar. I didn’t know that there actually were embassies on the square itself. And I wonder what is this kind of candy sculpture outside.
The ride started on main roads through the rich suburbs in the West of Paris, after dawn on the Arc de Triomphe. Very early in the morning we were almost alone on the roads. First small hill in Suresnes and second one with a very nice view in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. The sun is rising above La Défense, it might be better at sunset.
We used mostly major axis untill Meulan, and after we crossed part of the Vexin Regional Park and it’s gentle slopes before riding in the Seine valley again from Vétheuil to La-Roche-Guyon.
This is the only picture with some people on it, as usual I don’t put recognizable pictures of people on this public space.
We stopped for a while next to the castle in La-Roche-Guyon…
…giving some apples from the castle gardens to the pair of sheep taking care of the roadside. Only the apples that fell on the ground of course !
The steep road after the castle offers a very nice view on the Seine valley.
We crossed Giverny and it’s amazing crowd for a village this size.
Next stop, for lunch, was the right bank of Vernon.
I’ve already crossed Vernon 2 years ago, and even spent a night there. The city is quite unknown, but I think it looks more interesting than Giverny from outside.
Then We followed the river to Les Andelys, were we met another friend who finished the ride with us, starting with the longest way uphill at le Val-St-Martin.
It was the best view on the river and on Château Gaillard (in the background).
The next hill was the Jacques Anquetil slope. Named after a 5 times winner of the Tour de France in the 50s and 60s. Not sure it inspired us a lot to finish gloriously 😉
The arrival on Rouen was straight-forward on a major road. And after a stop at our host’s place we went for a tour of the city.
If you’re interested in a few more pictures of Rouen, I have some from 2009 on flickr.
And finally enjoyed the sunset from the Mont Gargan, after a very last, steep way uphill.
Like in Moret-sur-Loing, my last picture could be compared to an impressionist one from Claude Monet.
The ride was 170km including the tour in Rouen and here is the track. I had to draw it by hand at the end, because the GPS batteries couldn’t stand a whole day.
We had a full day rest in Rouen after that, and a pleasant barbecue on Sunday before taking the train back to Paris.