When you just partially understand

Château de Chambord, a king Francis' affair, with Da Vinci and Polish heaters involved

Welcome to France. The land that made Caesar’s career, the coun­try that gave us Charlemagne, a place where you can­not name your pig Napoleon. A coun­try fam­ous for its wine, its cheese, and its gen­er­al soph­ist­ic­a­tion. A coun­try where if I listen to some­thing I par­tially under­stand ‑which hap­pens very often‑, I auto­mat­ic­ally con­sider it to be Polish so I answer accordingly.

Welcome to the Loire val­ley, where our trip has just been born. The land of the two hun­dred châteaux, where faith­ful to its his­tor­ic­al back­ground, things escal­ate quickly. A land where, once more, one of the biggest fea­tures of last year’s trip, that feel­ing of hav­ing too many memor­ies in too little time, just took its place as well.

Welcome to the Chateaux of Nantes, Angers, Saumur, Chinon, Azay-le-Rideau, de l’is­lette, the-one-we-will-nev­er-see Ussé, Tours, Chenonceaux, Amboise, Chaumont-sur-Loire, Blois, and Chambord. And count on the gor­geous cathed­rals of Orleans and Chartres as well, where we met a mem­or­able man at Chartres who happened to be a church archi­tect and restor­er and who is a close friend of my tour­ist guide at Salisbury two years ago, to whom we talked about churches for hours.

This time I’m mak­ing way less pic­tures and com­plaints, and I’m more bike pro­fi­cient ‑not only I got a more auda­cious driv­ing, but I also got know­ledge­able of the mech­an­ics-. I’m look­ing for­ward for what made last time mem­or­able: the anec­dote, and not the site. Being invited to a castle in St-Michel-sur-Loire and received by an old old man with an out­stand­ing set of anec­dotes and sense of humour was highly valu­able to an extent that made me stay an extra night, so we spent the French National day there, drink­ing Loire wine. The way there got us lost through a prop­er high­way I did not remotely like, so we escaped through a jungle Jorge did not remotely like, and we found our way to Azay through a forest I indeed appreciated.

A lot of ener­gies ‑and fun!- has been to push Jorge into a thou­sand of bike tricks and agil­it­ies ‑and into speed, for God’s sake!: after all, in a bike, your needs are dif­fer­ent. You com­plain about holes big­ger than your wheels on the ground, or strong wind against, everything else is just sec­ond­ary. I admit enjoy­ing his “Sargent” nickname.

Oh, enjoy your­self, the high­way we just tried to escape: https://youtu.be/BtACGWvpz1Q

Welcome to Paris, a city Jorge was reluct­ant to vis­it ‑he already did an Erasmus here- and where now he’s obliged to accom­pany us for quite a while.

Last days of the route gave us beau­ti­ful cathed­rals, but cas­tig­ated us with the scourge of Helios: over forty degrees on our heads blackened our skins to an inter­est­ing point. We passed by Versailles, the entrance to Paris was com­pletely peace­ful in con­trary to what every­body warned, and now we are just wait­ing for Leon.

Oh dear, here comes the one missing.

Eiffel Tower, Paris.
Ante dies XIII Kal. Avg. MMDCCLXIX A.V.C.


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