Beaune

Breakfast was an hour later today – they cannot do it before 7 am ‘as the bread won’t be ready’. We pushed our luck and rocked up at 6.55 am. The bread was ready.

Upon leaving Besancon it was a slow crawl for the first two kilometres. Cobbles, traffic, pushing our bike across pedestrian crossings and then the fluvial tunnel.

Built around 1880 it is some 390 metres in length and runs underneath the citadel. It provides a very handy short cut from one side of Le Doubs to the other, remembering that Besancon is on a horseshoe bend of the river.

It was a crawl as there was a queue. Runners, cyclists, walkers. Once out the other side it was shady and a cool 8c. It was not going to stay that way.

If you are a keen walker, you can head to Canterbury in England via Francigena, an old historic trail.

One last look back up the hill to the citadel.

Following a mixture of the canal, Doubs and Saone rivers today there were many nice vistas. I love the old fortifications high up on hills.

The canal of the Rhine and Rhone came to an abrupt halt here, with a water turning circle, and tunnel going under the hill. I later checked maps, and on the other side of the hill there is another canal that joins le Doubs. There is a walking path through.

Peaceful waterways continued.

I’ve seen more canal locks on this trip than ever before. Many have a little house nearby where in earlier years, a lock keeper would have resided.

Tony fancied this bike, or was it the red shoe?

Shortly thereafter we detoured from our route into a village and found the smallest boulangerie ever. We made do😊.

Sitting and eating this was our view.

This was our bikes view

Wheat dominated agricultural crops today,

There has been a distinct lack of loos on EV6, but today, we found one. A hole in the ground for males and females. Got to love that splash back! Interesting rock cliff adjacent.

We enjoyed the shaded areas. The heat had picked up and for most of the day it was 28c. That is pretty hot for Tasmanians riding. My preferred riding temperature is 10-20c.

We were heading in a southern direction overall, despite our river meanderings. As the day went on a southerly picked up. It did make riding a tougher ask but ever so enjoyable in cooling us down.

We rode around the edge of Dole along the rivers edge. The Notre Dame church dominates the skyline. it was constructed in the 16th century.

A closer look, with the picture frame located a little further along the rivers edge.

I mentioned yesterday the Euro Velo signage. Here is a different one, advising what villages are ahead. There is mess on the sign, being fresh grass cuttings!

We had crossed paths today with two older blokes on e bikes, who had stayed at our accomodation. We tried saying hi but they ignored us.

During the day we saw these guys multiple times and they gave us nothing! We dubbed them, the two cranky old French farts.

Shortly after our last sighting we came across these green things. We had no idea what we were catching. They reminded me of linen vehicles that zip around larger resorts.

We did overtake them although as you can see there is not much room on their left, so we needed to give them a shout. They were pedalling these contraptions and we assume given their pace, they were electric pedal power assisted.

Damparis

We crossed over the bridge below heading into Damparis. We saw the two cranky old French farts. We got a half wave…things were improving. We kept going. They were sitting outside a boulangerie but we headed to the local supermache and grabbed basic supplies including a banana and water.

As we headed back to the river we were surprised the two cranky old French farts were still there. This time, they stood up and waved! We made it! We need to rename them!

Alas, we have not seen them since as we left Euro Velo 6 heading country and towards our next destination of Beaune.

The last 40 km was a bit of a slog into the headwind and it was seriously warm. Village after village in a predominantly rural area.

Our route into Beaune was excellent and minimal traffic. The last km was slow as we were riding on my least favoured surface, cobbles. The bike shakes despite the big tyres!

Todays route is below. We are now in the capital of the Burgundy wine growing region (so I read, despite not seeing one vineyard today).

There was a site in Beaune I was looking forward to seeing and it was the Hospices de Beaune or Hotel Dieu de Beaune, a former charitable almshouse, founded in 1443 as a hospital for the poor.

The original hospital building still exists and is regarded as one of the best examples of Burgundy architecture.

I did the self guided tour whilst Tony sat in the shade outside. It is quite extensive with 26 points of interest.

The courtyard from the entrance
The courtyard looking towards the entrance
The beautifully tiled roof
The Great Hall of the Poor where there is a line of beds down both sides
In the kitchen, I quite liked the tap!
The pharmacy had hundreds of original product bottles lining the walls

We wandered around looking for a dinner spot noting some other buildings.

I liked the paintings on this hotel
More nice ties

Then we stumbled across the Notre Dame de Beaune basilica where construction started in the 12th century.

It was seriously very cool inside offering great refuge from the heat.

The view from the rear
Another curious building

So we had dinner, wandered back and oh look, whose washing could that be?

Our room was upgraded to a suite. Those two windows are in our bedroom, but I am in a room typing this blog to the right, where we have a lounge room, and a second bathroom with the tiniest walk in shower ever.

Tony kindly being the point of reference for shower size relativity

124 km done and dusted today, 356 km in the first three days. There is an 85% chance of us getting a wet bum tomorrow as thunderstorms and rain is forecast.

Breakfast here does not start until 8 am! The look on my face must have been something as the guy said “well not before 7.45” so 7.45 it is!

Maybe the bread takes even longer to cook here!! Given we will be awake and up and about by 5.30 am it will be a long few hours….no access to our bike to get it ready either.

So until tomorrow, Ooroo and smile on 😊

What a beautiful day to ride in France

Today rates as an excellent cycle touring day. The weather was brilliant, the route fantastic, and we both felt really good.

Charlie (Trek Checkpoint SL7) and I are bonding and I’m nailing my gear changes and changing from big to small chainrings far more intuitively today.

The route today continued to follow the EuroVelo 6, which is well signposted plus has occasional interpretive panels, per below

Taken today, I am pointing out where we were at.

Before I get too far ahead of myself, I need to wind the clock back.

When we arrive at accomodation touring, once we have secured the bikes we want to know only a few things. The wifi code and most importantly, what time breakfast is!

Our hotel this morning has breakfast between 6 am and 10 am. 6 am on the knocker we presented, ready and eager. We were first there. We often are!

It was a great breakfast spread – a quality offering with a range of cold meats and cheeses, wide range of breads and pastries, a few hot food choices, yoghurts, fruits, mueslis and coffee!!

I thought this was cute – it was a lemon favoured yoghurt

The weather forecast was for another warm day. I took the next photo seated at our table looking out the window.

We retraced our route into Montbeliard to head out. It was about 730 when we left, and the city was reasonably quiet.

Looking back towards Montbeliard as we crossed the canal.

We followed the canal ( du Rhone et Rhine) for some time, then this was interspersed with le Doubs (River).

The following photos are the canal and show the serenity. It was a beautiful time to be riding. The temperature was 9C, the air crisp and clean.

This is one of my favourite photos today. It was a magnificent wooden boat, well cared for, and what a reflection.

At around 30 km stopped at L’Isle on the banks of le Doubs. Coffee and …, well it was a boulangerie…read between the lines!

This photo is looking across le Doubs, and in fact, we rode down that side of the river shortly thereafter. The river was clear and seemingly clean.

What a wonderful bike path. We only encountered one section of gravel today in a section that was being prepared to seal. It is great to see the continuing upgrade of one of the most popular EuroVelo routes.

The further we followed le Doubs, the cliffs around started to increase in height.

Around a bend and we arrived in Laissey. We saw a bar with seating outside being used by cyclists, so figured we should stop. We had a light lunch of the most beautifully light quiche.

An advantage of stopping at places such as this is that you can use their toilets, plus they happily fill your bidons with cold water.

Where we had lunch in Laissey
Over the road was this war memorial.

We descended from Laissey heading back to le Doubsand passed this old car.

This is Tony’s favourite photo today, with the tree canopy and river. i am taking the opportunity to grab my bidon.

From the same spot, looking back up,the river at a canal boat. The couple had a few bikes on board.

One of our last river views before arriving into Besancon.

Besancon is located in a horshoe section of Le Doubs. It is dominated by this old citadel that was built from 1678 to 1771. It has had a variety of uses over the years, saddest being German occupation during WWII and the site where they exterminated 100 or so locals.

Today it is a peaceful place housing a number of museums and a zoo. The first photo below Tony took as we neared Besancon.

The second photo is borrowed, and shows how extensive the fortification is.

Arriving at our accomodation our bikes were stored away securely then it was time to hit the shower and wash our kit. This is a Yaxley ( and touring cyclists in general I guess) to be inventive in how to dry your clothes.

Many accomodation places have those useless coat hangers with no hook. Tony has cable tied them to the railing to access the sun. Within a few hours all clothes were dry.

Time to start walking! We wandered around with no particular aim, no map, no phone and hoping we would find our accomodation ok.

Some photos from our meandering walk.

St John’s cathedral, with parts dating back to the 9th century.
Street view
Saint Madeleine church – very cold inside, built mid 1700’s.
Looking up the river towards Saint Madeleine church.
Revolution Square
Tour de la Pelote, an old fortification.

Day 2 has been completed. A shorter day but solid enough with 95 km ridden. Our route is below.

Well as the day winds down we have had our dinner and will chill and relax and sleep soon ready for tomorrow.

We have very much enjoyed today. The route rates highly and can recommend it to any touring cyclist.

Thanks for reading,

Ooroo – smile on 😊