After a relaxing rest day in St. Malo (below) the group set sail again today. Destination Omaha. The landing of the Allied forces on the coast of Normandy in 1944, aka "Operation Overlord", was the largest military operation in history. Today countless historic sites, museums, monuments, and war cemeteries attract tourists in large numbers. Visiting these sites made us shiver and brought tears to our eyes. Un unforgettable experience, just like the Edelweiss picnic, right at Omaha Beach.
After relaxing for a day in Carnac - more or less - we headed further west today. The town of Pont Aven was made famous by Paul Gauguin and other painters. Today it is a popular hangout for tourists in search of art and inspiration. And chocolate. Phare d'Eckmühl was next, at 65 meters one of the talles lighthouses in France. 290 steps lead to the top where an amazing view of the countryside opens up. To replenish the lost calories (and store some extra ones, just in case...) Pablo's awesome Edelweiss picnic waited for us just minutes away. The last highlight of the day was the climb to the top of Brittany's tallest mountain, Menez-Hom. This high above sea level (333 meters or 1000 ft) the air was dangerously thin, but thanks to Pablo's extra calories we managed to stay alive.
Day 3: from the castle outside Angers to a beautiful boutique hotel in Carnac. This area is famous for its prehistoric sites; the hill next to the hotel is actually a stone age tomb, 7,500 years old. We watched the sunset from the top, it was beautiful and felt very special!
Day 2: due to the refinery worker's stike in France it was difficult to procure fuel for our bikes, but we did. We carry spare bicycles, just in case, but we didn't have to use them. Not yet...
A loop through the old town of Tours, then we took off towards Le Mans to see the museum of the 24 Heures du Mans. For our approach we used the world-famous Mulsanne Straight, where the racecars reach up to 370 km/h. We observed the speed limit of 90 and felt really slow...
After lunch it started to rain heavily, so we went straight ot our Chateau hotel, north of Angers. What a gorgeous place!
Our first riding day saw us traveling from Versailles to Tours, via Chartres (cathedral), Chambord (castle) and along the Loire river (many more castles). What a beautiful piece of France!
A lively bunch of Brazilians made their way to Paris in order to ride all the way around Brittany and Normandy on Edelweiss' brand new "Paris to Omaha" tour. Mind you, it's Omaha Beach in Normandy, not Omaha, Nebraska. Follow this blog to see what they're up to!
Here are some impressions of Paris: