Back in 2002, we did not own a digital camera but we did manage to find a few photos that we’ve scanned to include in this post. We’ve written a few highlights so that this trip can become part of our travel journal.
On this trip, we travelled with friends to France. We wanted to discover some of this country’s renown wine regions and experience some of the local cuisine.
Amboise – The Loire Valley
We flew into Paris and took the train immediately to Amboise. The town of Amboise is located in the Loire Valley.
In Amboise, we stayed at Le Blason. Our room was on the top floor so we needed to take a very narrow staircase to get to it. (please don’t take trunk suitcases if you plan on staying here. (I did learn over the years, Bernard😊) What we thoroughly enjoyed about this hotel was that it was in a great location and it had a beautiful outdoor garden patio restaurant in the back of it where we ate a couple of great meals.
The Loire Valley is often visited because of all it’s beautiful Châteaux and wines. We only wanted to visit one of those châteaux so we choose the Château de Chenonceau as it is supposedly the Loire Valley’s most recognizable and romantic château.
From Beaune, we took the train to Lyon. This would be the final three days of our trip. From Lyon, we were flying back home to Canada.
Lyon….hum, a bit of a love/hate relationship with this city ❤️ 😡. After having spent the last two weeks cycling the Alsace & Burgundy wine regions we think it might have been a bit of a shock to our system when we arrived in Lyon. We had been seduced by Alsace & Burgundy with its beautiful countryside and its quaint little villages. Arriving in Lyon we quickly realized we were entering into the hustle and bustle of big city life. Lyon, of course, being the 2nd largest city in France, after Paris.
On September 29th, 2017 we headed out for the second part of our self-guided bike tour, which was the Burgundy Wine Route. We would cycle from Dijon to Beaune. (the Alsace wine region had been the first part of this trip, see previous post for more detail).
In planning for this Burgundy Wine Route we had dealt with a bike tour company called, Bike Tours. This company arranged for our lodging, bikes, bags, GPS and luggage transport to each destination. The difficulty level we decided to go with was level 3 (out of 5) which was described by the company as “rolling, hilly terrain”. It was approx. 40 km of cycling each day. We determined our own pace and we made a lot of stops along the way. This tour highlighted the wines of Burgundy and its cuisine. 🍷😊For this part of the trip, we decided to choose the deluxe package which gave us upgraded accommodations and included two dinners at the Château de Gilly in Vougeot.
Since we both enjoy fine wine and great food, we decided to book a self-guided bike tour of the Alsace & Burgundy wine regions for our 35th wedding anniversary. Wow, what an amazing trip this turned out to be. We would love someday to re-do this entire trip all over again. The Alsace region should be visited late Summer or early Fall when all the flowers are in full bloom. It is breathtaking to see every single window box filled with beautiful flowers as you cycle through these quaint Alsace villages.
For the Alsace cycling portion of this trip, we booked our self-guided bike tour with a company called, Discover France They arranged for us our accommodations, bikes, bags, luggage transport, GPS, and a detailed description of the route. Based on our requested “difficulty level” they provided us with a recommended bike route that best suited our fitness level. For this bike tour, we choose a level this company has named “Hobby“. They define it as “Weekend riders, people with some cycling experience, rolling countryside and possible short climbs.” It was approx. 30-50 km of cycling each day and took us between 3-5 hours to get to each destination. The time it took us each day was really up to us as we were cycling by ourselves so no one was rushing us along. We determined our own pace. At home, we would describe ourselves as “weekend bikers” so we had no major problem fitness-wise in completing this entire route. Here is a map below of the route we followed.