Cars, trains, metros, buses, taxis...a very long airplane-free travel day got us eventually to Orléans. Paris was wretchedly hot, as we struggled with many suitcases to reach the Gare d'Austerlitz. Unfortunately the metro was closed after the Bastille stop, so we had to take a shuttle bus, and missed our tight connection as a result. But at Austerlitz, after not too long a wait, we managed to find another (hot, crowded) train which brought us to Orléans.
Along the way we passed through the somber spectacle of Bretigny station, scene of a very recent fatal train crash. Crews were still working hard to repair the damage, and the destroyed train was still sitting off to one side of the tracks. A poignant reminder of the randomness of fate.
Now in Orléans - where our race starts on Saturday - I have so far managed to acquaint Claire with (a) the seedier side of town near the railway station, (b) sangria in a Tex-Mex restaurant, (c) the river itself and a part of the course through town and (d) a tasty pizza washed down with a pitcher of rosé. Life is good.
Here am I standing in my bright yellow running shoes on top of a LAV (Loire à vélo) sign. These signs will guide us along the way to the Atlantic coast over the next week.