Cycling France Cycling France
Trip Report
Burgundy: Savigny
Burgundy: Avallon
Burgundy: Dijon
Burgundy: Beaune
Alsace: Kaysersberg
Alsace: Strasbourg
Provence: Avignon
Provence: Lourmarin
Provence: Forcalquier
Provence: Menerbes
Provence: Marseille


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FRANCE 2008: Trip Report

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The first 30km from Avignon was on the main road. Luckily it was Saturday morning and the traffic was light. We had bought bread, ham and cheese for our lunch but we passed a restaurant with a terrace overlooking the river in L’Isle sur la Sorgue so we ate there. Just before Maubec we switched to the minor roads.

We tackled the stiff climb up to the old village of Oppedes. We have a strict policy of never leaving the bicycles unattended so we took it in turns to walk up the steep cobbled path to explore the church and ruined chateau at the top. The views are spectacular and it was well worth the effort.

We continued through Menerbes, Lacoste (where the book ‘A Year in Provence’ is based) and up the long climb to Bonnieux. As we passed through Bonnieux a group of villagers shouted ‘bravo’ and clapped as in the Tour De France.

The 10km descent to Lourmarin is a narrow switchback road. The traffic was heavy but, without exception, the cars queued patiently behind us until there was ample room to pass.

The apartment was modern and tastefully furnished, very comfortable. There was a large antique book fair with dozens of market stalls behind our apartment block. The ground floor of our apartment block housed a wine merchant so we bought a bottle and drank it with our surplus lunch.
The next day we cycled to the supermarket and then continued on to the village of Lauris. The new village is scruffy but cycling the steep hill to the old village rewarded us with a warren of beautiful old houses and cobbled streets. We considered eating lunch at a restaurant there but the owner grumpily objected to us propping our bikes against the terrace fence where we could see them so we returned to Lourmarin and had an excellent lunch at the L’Antiquaire.
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