Thursday, July 12, 2012

Days 18 - 20 (July 10 - 12, 2012)

Day 18 – 20 (July 10 – 12, 2012)

            We spent the 18th day of our ride, July 10, traveling to Besancon, the capital of the Franche-Comte region of France and a town with over two thousand years of documented history.  An impressive citadel overlooks the cluster of buildings sitting along a river.  Sho, Saya and I climbed the steps to enjoy the view and the cool zoo and insectarium on the citadel’s grounds.  
            From Besancon, we cycled through inspiringly beautiful countryside for 50 kilometers before stopping in the small town of Pontailler sur Saone.  Saya showed off her climbing skills and Sho practiced soccer in a local playground.  We slept in a comfortable bed & breakfast run by a lovely French couple.
            While riding, we sometimes pass war monuments, and I appreciate the past few decades of peace, an aberration in the history of Europe.  We stopped to explore a cemetery in the countryside that held perhaps 100 graves.  Sho and Saya called out the dates on the stones, and Sho excitedly told me whenever he found someone who had lived to over 100.  One woman was born in 1900 and died in 2000.  Many of the women outlived their husbands by as much as 30 years.  
On Day 20, July 12, we cycled to Dijon, of mustard fame, but the locals prefer to talk about the city’s fabulous architecture.  We explored the town on foot, and Saya came up with an impromptu urban tap dance and even performed an amazing magic trick (see videos below).  
The weather has been excellent so far -- often cloudy and cool to keep us from overheating but with plenty of sun peaking through.  It feels like such a privilege to cycle through the stunningly beautiful, peaceful French countryside with Sho and Saya.
Here are a few pics and videos:

View while cycling:

Saya with a flower she picked by the road side:

At the bed & breakfast in Pontailler sur Saone:

Sho and Saya with the couple who run the B&B:

Part of the Citadel in Besancon:

Besancon Citadel:

Countryside graveyard: 

In Dijon:

Saya's urban tap in Dijon:

The Amazing Rising Saya:

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