Day 1

A 6:00pm departure from Chicago allowed us a chance to sleep in, get a few more home chores done and on the road to the Van Galder bus via Gaylord P.’s Uber service! emJay at the Madison bus stop decides to  . . . mjframe1000. . . strike a pose practicing for making a scene in gay Paree!

Day 2

Somewhere over the ocean , we crossed into Saturday and Day 2. Word got around the plane that part of the 2014 madisonsundaycyclicts crew was on board so the staff tried to find our leader, Lauri, better accommodation’s.

First class was booked . . .

. . . as was second or business class

but they did find her three seats together that she was able to stretch out on for a little ‘cat nap’ as we winged across the Atlantic It was quite a trip. We left Chicago an hour late and encounter some of the roughest weather, for at least 45 minutes, over the wilds of Canada. We were all glad the plane held together!!!

Seven hours later we landed at Charles De Gaulle aeroporto that looked like it had been designed by Disney or the water slide creators in Wisconsin Dells.

We were met by  our VBT rep, Pierre, who gave us the 411 and sent us off on our 45 minute van ride to the . . .

. . . Pullman Bercey Hotel, a modern glass structure near the river and right next to Bercey Village, a trendy little shopping area.

In true msc fashion the first thing we did after checking in was go in search of food and beverage!

. . .oh and we found it. Here is a nice salmon club with pomme frities scored by yours truly.

Homemade pralines served hot off the grill. Nice bike setup!

Dinner plans were made and the whole group planned to meet in the lobby at 6:30pm. What to do until then . . . emJay and RR couldn’t resist a little 1.5 hour nap to help solve the sleep deficit from the night before.

13_thumb.jpg After a quick hour and a half nap we felt refreshed and ready to hit the town. The herd assembled in the lobby at 6:30pm and met up with Becky, Charlie and Diana and John, who had been in Paris since Wednesday, and had just returned from a full day out on the town. Having FULL stomach from a late lunch they passed on dinner with the gang.

Kim had read a great restaurant review in the NYT’s about a restaurant in in Paris and here we were three days later heading off to it to form our own opinion.

Getting there would be an adventure in itself when we lost Jim on the metro platform to a ‘quick closing door’. Not sure he knew where we were going, Fernando hopped off at the next stop, waited for him and they both met us four metro stops down the line. Lot’s of laughs and we hand’t even started drinking yet!!!


Jim and Fernando reunite with the gang again!

Because of our bumpy overnight flight most had not slept for many hours so we had a 7:00 reservation in order to eat and get a good nights sleep. No problem getting in at that hour since no Parisan in their right mind doesn’t even think of eating until about 8, 9 or 10PM!


The doors place was not even open we we arrived. We felt like a bunch of retirees in FL waiting for the daily 5:00pm early bird special!!!


But plenty of diversions while we waited. What a concept . . .  gelato on wheels!


A great place it indeed end up being. In fact we had our own private dining room.


Our waiter Bernard shows us his pet lobster!


A creamy dessert helped settle the tummy too.

After a hearty prix fixed steak dinner with all the trimmings it was a quick ride back on the metro and sweet dreams under a big comforter at the Pullman Bercy.


Here the gang practice the ‘Jumping Jim’ move we invented to insure not getting stuck in the door again!


A quick ride back on the metro and sweet dreams under a big comforter at the Pullman Bercy.


Day 3

A good nights sleep got me back on schedule and I was up at 5:00am FRA time ready to go! Unfortunately they didn’t start serving breakfast until 6:30am . . . but what a breakfast it was!

Just the bread table was amazing!

Time for the ‘full Irish’!

We all met in the lobby at 8:45am to meet Leana who got us herded onto the bus for our 3 hour ride to Bayeau, that stretched into 4 hours. Our transportation woes continued, (bumpy plane ride, Jim getting stranded on the metro platform and now trouble with the van/bus.


About an hour into the ride our driver, Bernard, pulled into a gas station off the interstate and the van died. Not able to get it started he sought out someone to give the bus a jump. Being a diesel engine it took some coaxing but it finally started.

Here is John thinking . . . if they only were using CNG!

Then it became apparent the electric front door would not close. Burned out circuit breaker? We couldn’t tell. He spoke French and we spoke English and never the two shall meet! Finally he took one of the jumper cables and ‘tied’ the door shut, then enter the bus from the non-electric emergency door in the back.

Our ride continued with a freeze blowing in the door which actually felt pretty good because the air conditioning marginally worked. We were told there would be a stop at 1.5 hour into the ride and finally we pulled into another rest stop. Interesting he kept pointing out a unit that looked like a radio in the dash that had lots of numbers on the display. I couldn’t figure out what it was but Luk told me later it was a device that calculates how much the driver has driven. Very strict chauffeur licensing laws in FRA and the reason he pulled into the second gas station was not to give us a break but for him to take his mandatory half hour break after having driven a certain number of hours/miles.

While we were waiting, our man John, of many resources, broke out a picnic lunch he had just happened to have brought along and shared it with all.

We finally arrive in Bayeau and met up with our guides Luc and Adele. Ends up many of our members that were on last years mcs trip to the Bordeaux region had Adele as one of their guides!

Adele took us on a quick walking tour of the town and then it was time for a late lunch.

Local scenes.

A late afternoon energy fix!

Couldn’t make it to church today so had a Religious instead!

Our home for the night . . . nice!

We assembled at 4:00pm for bike fittings and a 7 mile shakedown ride.

Our steads for the week. New this year because the Normandy trip is new!

Sights along the way.

Next showers, resting and a group dinner at 7:00pm/ Yippee . . .more eating!!!

We met in the lobby of the hotel for our Welcoming vino, snacks and meeting. Introductions and the wine flowed freely. Soon it was on to our meal held right at the restaurant.


Great food more wine and fine conversation.



Most got this yummy little treat but a few went ‘more healthy’ and orderd . . .


Time for bed and on the road to Omaha Beach tomorrow for the whole group and an additional bus trip for some to Utah Beach.

Day 4

Everyone slept VERY well last night and was up and ready for a filling breakfast and our morning pre-ride meeting at 8:30am.

Luc gives a history lesson on the regions of France.

We soon were on the road to Arromanches our main stop on the loop today.

Tractor Traffic. . . . just like in WI!

This is how they make the hedgerows so perfectly manicured!

Once the Allies had invaded, within the next 13 days a complete artificial harbor was constructed in the open sea at Arromanches that became the main supply route for any supplies the Allied troops needed. From razor blades to tanks!

French countryside.

We came around a corner near an old priory for monks and there was Adele with the mornings goodie. Including Tilly bars!!!!

No monks now . . . it’s a private school for children.

A great museum and a separate 360 degree theater gave us the information we needed to imagine what it must have been like that first two weeks of the war in Arromanches and the engineering marvel the artificial harbor was. Without it the Allies would not have been successful in pushing the Germans east through France.

Along the way we stopped at a world renown umbrella maker in a small town of only about 300 population!

You could see your umbrella being made . . .

. . .with the handle of your choice . . .

and the fabric of your choice.

Some of the finished products.

emJay with the owner demoing one of the final products. She bought one with poppies on it.

The msc can never pass up a photo op with some of the more numerous residents of WI – the cow. Jim, an old farm boy, ALWAYS knows what to do!

On the way to the sea . . .

Kodak moments around every corner!

Our destination . . . Arrromanches.

Part of the 360 degree theater, with nine screens, at the museum. A must see.

Here is what part of the artificial harbor looked like. Over 1,900 tons of equipment was eventually unloaded every day.

Oh . . .the French have commercialization too  . . . how about some D-Day beer!

There were lots of visitors at the site including at least one celebrity siting . . . Mick Jagger. Of course the women in our group flocked to him and as you can see . . . Wendy, second from the right was SOOOOO excited!

At noon half the group split off for a shorter route back to the hotel and a van ride to Utah beach for a private tour, an add on that had been arranged for those who interested. Nick and Diana’s fathers were directly involved in the Utah Beach operation.

Diana’s father, General Cooke, was actually in a few of the photographs. He was the pilot and commander of a paratrooper plane

. . . and he is a biker too.

The rest of us spent a leisurely afternoon exploring the French countryside as we bicycled back to Bayeux.

Charlie and John had moules and frites for lunch.

Adele left us a little surprise on our bikes for the trip back to the hotel.

REALLY a nice ride back for the four of us.

Lost again . . . no  just real estate shopping!

We bought a new clubhouse for the madisonsundaycyclists and put it on Lauri’s room bill. Wonder if she will notice?

Rick and Charlie after sealing the deal.

Interesting gabled church roof dating from the 13th century.

Becky considering giving up her city council seat back home to be Mayoress of the Village of Cassy. Here is their one room city hall!


Everyone reconvened back at the hotel and soon it was time for our time honored tradition of the pre- dinner happy hour. Whoever has the largest room automatically hosts on at the Lion D’Or is was Ruth and Bob.


Bob the ever gracious host, and our resident sommelier, serves Carla.

We split into two groups tonight for dinner with half of us going to a creperie and the others going to a bistro. Here is Jim with his chocolate banana whipped crème dessert. You can figure out which one he went to eat at!!!

Day 5

Today would fulfill one of the primary reasons many of us came on this Normandy bicycle trip, that being a visit to the WWII Normandy Beach and Memorial.

The day started bright and shiny and after an ample breakfast a quick pack up and our morning ride meeting we were on the way.

We rode out through the French country side stopping at an old French aristocrat home and several others we viewed along the road.

At one point several of us were ahead of the group and I decided to stop and wait for emJay. After about 10 minutes I began biking back towards the group when I met Fernando and Carla, They said, “Did you “hear about emJay crashing”? Yikes, I had visions of her breaking her collarbone again like she had last year in Poland. Our transportation woes continued as I approached the group who was huddled around her bike, while Luc was repairing. She had been riding along when her handlebars suddenly turned down and she lost control of the bike. Luckily she ‘coasted’ into a grassy ditch and had a soft landing. In fact she ‘recreated’ the event for the sake of our photographers who wanted to record the event. The same thing happened twice yesterday to our guide Adele and twice to Lauri, who in one of the instances was going downhill!! VBT had installed adjustable stems on the bikes to accommodate many different riders needs, something you wouldn’t normally do on a road bike. Seems like it was a bad move. The half of us with road bikes are now riding VERY cautiously.


Do Not Try this at Home!

Our resident EMT, Luc.

By noon we had reached our destination and had a nice al fresco dining experience overlooking Omaha Beach.

Lunching in front of Omaha Beach.

Charlie and Diana enjoy a ‘baron’ size bier . . .

. . . and he and Becky enjoy a nice pizza.

emJay sharing with Adele her father’s writings of landing at Omaha.

We met out VERY knowledgeable guide, Bernard, who would be with us the remainder of the afternoon. We would tour Omaha Beach, a German ‘pillbox bunker’ the first and second American graveyards, and a German graveyard. It was 4 hours of a nonstop description of events and tragedies that happened 70 years ago. Many of us questioned whether we ourselves could have handle the situation both physically and mentally.

Omaha Beach in the background. . .

The first American cemetery on the beach with over 1,400 US soldiers buried here. They were soon either shipped home or moved to the permanent cemetery on the hill.

Adele leading the gang down Omaha Beach.

German pill box in 2014 . . .

same site on June 6, 1944 . .

. . . after the landing.

Here is the inside. An American shell came in through the opening between the metal plates, hit the wall, bounced back and took out the chuck of metal plating protecting the gun and took off the head of one of the three German soldiers in the pillbox. The other two surrendered!

The American cemetery . . .

The French gave 17 acres to the US in 1956 and the cemetery is now considered US soil. Here is the administrators home . . .

. . . with an open field in front of the house for the Presidents helicopter to land when he visits!

The cemetery and the sea . . .

. . . nuns at Normandy!

emJay recalling her father’s adventures on this beach in France  . . . 70 years ago.

Looking down the beach.

The backside of the memorial . . .

with a garden honoring those who’s bodies were never found.

We have upgraded from our mini bus to a motor coach . . .private jet tomorrow????

Here is the German cemetery in France. A much different feel than the American cemetery. German soldiers who have died in recent conflicts can still be buried here.

Eventually we cycled on to the last stop and joined our motor coach for a 1 hour ride to our home for the next two nights, La Ferme des Mares, a rural inn with a fine dining restaurant, owned by Sonya and Mike. A wonderful happy hour on the veranda followed by an elegant 3 curse meal with a surprise at the end topped off the evening.

Beautiful grounds . . .

. . . nice room . . .

. . .and the herd starts to gather for the vino. Let it flow!

A ’deconstructed’ Caesar salad with smoked quail . . .

. . .followed by veal with mushrooms and a potato galette with pureed broccoli.

Kim surprised Bill with a cake to celebrate his 68th birthday. Click here to see the video. Not for the faint of heart!!!!

Most heard the local church bells, on the hour, all night . . .emJay never heard a single chime. Slept like babies!

Day 6

We woke to another day in paradise and had wonderful breakfast at 8:30am. We even got to sleep in this morning.

Plenty to eat!

Now that is a BIG fireplace!

Kim had her nails and toes done last night just for the ride to the market today!

Wendy making a new friend.

We would roll out after the morning meeting heading to the local market where Adele would purchase goodies for a picnic she and Luc would prepare for us today.

Riding through the hedgerows where many battles were fought during WWII.

The French version of the Cleaver house. Expected to see the Beaver come running down to great us.

Everything you needed, and more, could be found at the market.

This mother of three was at the wearing high heels. Tres chic!

One of there purchases was a laying hen that would eventually produce over 300 eggs . . . then into the soup pot for her!

Bill and Kim purchase a belt at the market.

Happy vacationers!

Lots of fresh produce . . .

Luc explains the Normandy apple varieties . . .

Juicy . . .

9:00am . . . never too early for a sample of Calvados!!!!

Seems like wherever you go in the world mattresses are ALWAYS on sale!!! Does anyone ever pay full price?

We need fresh meat and fish mongers like this at the MSN market.

Fresh flounder.

Lots of food carts/trucks . . .

. . .including Eric’s that had a real wood burning stove built into the corner that was burning logs down to coals.

One could stop by and leave your order to be pick up later. Nice!

From the market we pedaled on to our lunch spot an apple/cider/distillery! PERFECT for the msc!!!

Luc and Adele have a roadside conference.

emJay makes a new friend, El Burro

At another preverbal ‘fork in the road’. Only missed two turns today!

The owner made apple cider, hard cider and Calvados and explained the whole process, from picking the apples to bottling the final products.

The final product . . .

. . .let’s taste it!

The horror, the horror . . .

Somebody had a little too much . . . .

We could get used to this.

Of course . . . then there was time for a tasting all three before we munched down a HUGE lunch.

Many laid out on our in the sun on our backs for a while to let everything settle a bit

After lunch, slave mistress Adele got the girls, and Fernando, on the grass to do a few yoga and Pilates moves.

and. . emJay makes a new friend!!!

Then . . . we headed back through the French countryside to our hotel.

A field full of leaks.

Some had not had enough riding and Luc took a big group on an additional ride down to the sea where it was low tide.

With a little free time before dinner . . . some decided to play bocce ball . . .

Some decided to start happy hour . . .

And some decided to head to the kitchen. I was all over making the shortbreads for the appetizers.

With Chef Mike.

Shortbread with salmon


Roasted Guinea Hen with salad and a potato gallete . . .

Followed by NO calories . . .

Followed by dreams of sugar plum fairies dancing in my head!

Day 7

A quiet night for all but John and Diana who ended up having the largest room that also accommodated a huge spider and a bat that flew in through the window. The rest of us . . . slept like babies. After breakfast we bid Sonia and Mike a goodbye, boarded our motor coach and headed towards Dinan, a medieval town we would explore on the way to our next overnight town, Saint Malo.

emJay’s leg starting to ‘turn color’ after her meeting the ditch because of her handlebar failure!


Today we would also pass from Normandy into Brittany. The terrain became more rolling the color of the stone much darker and where are over 200,000 Brittany residents who still speak their native language.

Dinan is one of only three cities in France that still has the remnants of a walled city. Very interesting.

Our guide, Brenarda, was full of information and spoke perfect English.

One of two churches in the old walled city . . .

The original ‘hurdy gurdy’ man Donovan sang about. He turns a handle on the right of the hurdy gurdy that creates the wind necessary to power his music.

Many of the original homes in the walled city still exists with their timber framed structured.

Shopkeepers lived in the back of their shops and would have shutters on the front of their building that would open to display their wares. Customers came to the windows to buy and trade.

Very steep and curvy streets in the old city. Would be quite a ride on a bike!

I would have liked to take this old rig for a spin.

A 2014 version. An electric bike the FRA post office uses to get around in the city. Nice!

The French take their cats and dogs EVEYWHERE and they are well trained. Here a cat waits for the local bus to take it home OR is it waiting for a few crumbs to fall from the woman’s lunch. In typical cat fashion it’s hard to read their intentions!

After the tour we walked to the local market and had lunch. The plan was to bike away from Dinan at 1:30pm to Saint Malo. The bikes and van were on the edge of the city because they could not get into the city center with the trailer. It was 12:30pm, we had had lunch and many of us decided to walk to the van early, get set up, and sit at a nice sidewalk café for a little latte and sweet. Ended up the trailer was in a parking lot with no cozy cafe nearby BUT the seaside port of San Malo was only .9 of a mile away. So . . . we biked for 3 minutes, stopped and settled in for a nice cup of coffee and sweets!!!!

Heading down the hill to the port of Saint Malo.

A Kodak moment.

A great place for a well deserved break after riding less than a mile!

Why is this woman so happy . . .

. . . here’s why!

Two happy and full riders . . . now where is that sag wagon!!!

Those living in Normandy and Brittany have a wide assortment of cuisine options and love their chocolates . . .

. . . some more than others. We are resolved: No more stops every mile for goodies!

From there it was through the rolling countryside of Brittany and onto Saint Malo . . .

. . . but not before stopping at and ancient Druid ruin known as the ‘giants tooth’. Only one of them here but evidently there is another location in FRA where there are hundreds up them all line up in a straight row, constructed 30,000 year BC.

Time for a quick visit into a local church along the way.

Now lets see  . . . do in fact all roads lead to Saint Malo?

Typical Brittany use of color.

A circuitous route through Saint Malo brought us to Le Grand Hotel des Thermes, a 175 room spa hotel located right on the ocean. A five star hotel, we felt a little out of place as we walked into the reception area in our biking kit. But we soon discovered many patrons walking around and wearing in the hotel supplied robes to visit the spa. Funny . . . especially at breakfast!!

An urban bike trail with nice plantings along the way.

Nice digs at the Grand Hotel . . .

Best shower we have had so far. . .

Bath was equipped with everything one needs!!!

Some walked down to the ocean, some went to the spa and swam in the ocean but soon we were all prepared for dinner and taxied down to the old part of town for a lovely diner where the vino flowed freely.

Salad course . . .

Soup course . .

Poached salmon with French lentils

The flan with sea-salt infusion caramel went too fast to even get a photo of it!!!!

The family out for an evening walk . . . al least, some were walking!

Back to the Grand Hotel and a good nights sleep.

. . .zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Day 8

A wonderful breakfast in a wonderful hotel got us ready for a wonderful day of riding. Another blue bird sky day with full sun and very little wind. It has been like this the whole trip! As Luc and Adele have been telling us it rained on and off for most of the last two weeks before we arrived. We really lucked out.

Our last day of riding would take us through the Brittany countryside with several stops along the way AND a beach lunch of fresh oysters . . . harvested from the seas this morning.

We were soon on our way. 

Bill leads the herd out of town.

Charlie is drawn to anything that is yellow and says CAT. Of course he did spend a whole career with the company.

In a short time stopped at the Jacques Cartier museum where we viewed a very informative movie regarding his settlement of Canada and the area that eventually became the United States.

The humble beaver. Wonder if the species ever realized what an important part they played in the discovery North America. It was interesting to view history from another perspective other than our own!! I’m sure the truth lies somewhere in the middle!

From the museum we headed to a beautiful point where we stopped for a snack and a few photos. The island is owned by founder and owner of the French version of Amazon. His version must be just as successful!

. . . mmmmmm, wonder if it is for sale.

Carla helped Adele get the goodies ready.


. . .Adele had purchased some of Carla’s favorite cookies, a taste she acquired when she was a college student in France.

Our happy group.

Then . . . it was on to Cancale for a rest and oceanside oyster fest. We had a while to explore the village.

The Queen was in town this afternoon. Here is her Bentley she keeps in France for when she visits. Nice. Say Jeeves, can we get a ride up the hill?

Many never really got used to the ‘joint’ bathrooms. Many times there is a Women’s stall and Men’s stall with doors, as there is here on the right, and a urinal area right out in the middle. Oh those French!!!

Here is a fishing version of the WWII Duks we have in the Wisconsin Dells. Fun to watch him drive around the beach and then putter off to sea!

The tide was definitely going out during our visit to Cancale.

Wonder if this jellyfish stings?

While we explored, Adele laid out a wonder spread of goodies and Luc did a great job of introducing us to Brittany’s fresh oyster cuisine, by bringing dozen after dozen.

We were hungry and fixin’s of cheese, olives, bread, chips, wine and hard cider slid down as easy as the oysters did.

Don’t forget the bread with Brittany salted butter!

John, our two fisted, two bottled sommier.

Ruth has some of each!!!

Charlie hits the appetizers first . . .

While Luc visits his favorite oyster stands.

Sitting on the seawall. Bring those oysters on!

Adele making sure everyone gets some chocolate too.

Oh boy!!!!

Luc explains to emJay the finer points of ‘slurping down’ your first oyster . . .

Bottoms up!

A double whammy!

Adele FINALLY decided to try her first oyster on this trip with us. How did it all turn out . . .  go here to see the video!!!

All too soon it was time to hit the road and wind our way back to Saint Malo. We had to climb back out of the port to the highland and we all thought the oysters swimming around in our tummies gave us a little extra boost! The sun continued to shine as we pedaled through village after village, fields of lush produce and LOTS of cows!

The herd gathers for one last roundup in the parking lot . . .

. . .   fills up on water

. . . and climbs up from the seaside village of Cancale to high ground.

The group fragmented into several clusters, some riding back in the van. emJay and I ended brought up the rear, stopping to take photos and enjoy the countryside. Soon John joined us and the three of us biked the last half hour into Saint Malo. We were riding slower and slower and slower trying to drag the last day of riding out as long as we could. The great countryside, small villages with their narrow roads, the friendly local folks on the streets who ALWAYS greeted you with a “Bonjour”, the animals, farm fields, streams, rivers and estuaries we passed during the week all flashed through our minds and wouldn’t let go.

Remnants of German WWII fortifications?

Nice place along the way . . .

One last photo from the trail . . .

But . . . the inevitable finally caught up with us and we entered the ‘burbs of Saint Malo and finally arrived at our hotel. The riding part of our trip had ended.

Home Sweet Home . . .

Time to take off the bags, pedals and saddles and load the bikes on the trailer one last time for us.

Everyone got cleaned up and packed up and went exploring but reassembled on the veranda  6:30pm for cocktail. As I was leaving the room I looked out through our open window (no screen) and a saw a seagull sizing up our room. Thinking of John and Diana’s experience with the bat I thought this guy was looking for an entree into our room to see what we had to eat. Closed the window!

We all had a lovely time on the veranda overlooking the ocean, snacking and drinking ‘al fresco’.

Next it was time for our private dining room, more vino and piano music while we dined . . . and did we eat!!!!

But before we did we had to solve the sect of Charlie’s spoon. . . for the answer of the notch . . .check with Charlie!!

Appetizers . . .

Entrees . . .

Desserts . . .

John volunteered to give the ‘end of the trip’ speech and did a great job . . . tip envelopes were passed to Luc and Adele . . .

Nice words were shared by our two guides . . .

A few more glasses of wine and café were had . . . and before you know it, time for bed. On to Mont Saint Michel tomorrow!!!

Day 9

Today would be our last day in the Brittany countryside as we began our travels back to Paris.

The breakfast room of the hotel facing the sea . . .

Quiet on the beach in the morning and a great place or a nice walk . . .

. . .especially with your pooch!

All slept well last night after the big Good-Bye dinner . . . and no headaches in the morning!! After a filling breakfast and a few last goodbyes with Adele and Luc it was into the motor coach and our two hour ride to Mont Saint Michel.

We met our guide Bernadette who gave us a VERY informative walking tour thought the village and abbey. The tides play a huge part in the history of the mont and helped hold of the British who for 30 years tried to capture the island.

What a setting for a romantic hot air balloon ride . . . leave it to the French!

The estuary that played such an important part in keeping the island walled city French, instead of English. You can see the new causeway being built to the isle and in the distance the dam that traps seawater behind it at high tide and is, at  low tide, released to ‘flush’ the sand that is pushed in by the tide back out to sea.

Our walk out to the village.

This may be the ‘skinniest’ street I have ever walked up!

The French love their puppies and take them EVERYWHERE . . . but they are not allowed in the abbey!

One sad puppy . . .

. . .  and another.

And how did the monks get all their provisions up into the abbey . . . by using this human powered ‘rat cage’ It took 6 monks walking inside the wheel to pull the provisions up the side of the mountain on a sled.

Here is the outside track.

Today, the island it receives over 3 million visitors a year. It’s VERY pricey to stay in the village and the Madame Poulard restaurant is still selling the famous three egg omelet for 39 EU. Let’ see that’s 13EU and egg, twelve eggs in a dozen, 1EU=$1.3 , you so the math!!!

This would have been a great place to stay with  GREAT VIEW!

All too soon it was time to climb back into the motor coach and our driver Bernard began our final leg of our trip back to Paris. Four hours late we arrived at our hotel, the Relgais SPA located near Charles de Gaulle Airport.

It was time for one last gathering in the bar for a few drinks and reminiscing about our trip.

The herd dispersed to three or four restaurants and took care of final travels plans. Charlie and Becky would be heading to Provence, Ruth ant Bob to Antwerp, Fernando and Carla were staying over an extra day in Paris and the rest of us would be winging our way back to MSN via Chicago.

FINAL THOUGHTS: coming soon . . .