It was a little overcast as we packed the bike this morning. Although the building was across from the main train station we decided to park the bike on the street. The private parking was two blocks away so not convenient. We also saved a five euro per day parking fee.
The good thing about being close to the station was that there were a few boulangeries to buy fresh baguettes and croissants for breakfast.
After breakfast it was time to hit the road. Although we were only travelling a short distance we decided to head out along the Loire Valley and take the scenic route. The Loire Valley is one of our favourite areas of France. It is intersected by the River Loire, a river rich in history. Along the banks of the Loire are some of Frances finest chateaus and also some of their most beautiful ones. The area has quite a mild climate and is perfect for growing grapes.
As we headed along, the road followed the river the gold leaves of the grapevines told us that grape season was over for another year. The landscape around the Loire is quite flat so the farms are much bigger. At this time of year many of the fields were standing in fallow.
It was a nice ride which took us through lots of small towns. There were a few old towers which were once wind mills and crumbling fortified towns.
As we drew close to Nantes it was surprising how many large chateaus there were. Obviously the area must’ve been very rich.
Riding through Nantes it’s obvious that the city had a boom during the 18th century. Beautiful Haussmann style buildings line the wide boulevards. With cast-iron railings on their balconies and curved roofs they really give a French style to the city.
As we arrived the French grey ghosts were out booking all the illegal parkers so we asked if we could park until we dropped our bags off. Unlike other cities the parking police were pretty hospitable so we dropped our gear off at the apartment and found a spot for the bike. We are spending a few days in Nantes so hopefully we’ll get to explore a bit of the city.