Thank you Richard! On Saturday, I was told to be awake early, and then asked to open one of my birthday cards a couple of days before time. Inside were TGV tickets (first class!) to Besançon, where the Tour de France was due to finish Stage 14.
So I spent my day with Richard day tripping into the French countryside, and getting to see the Tour de France ‘for real’ in it’s natural habitat. I’ve been spending this week in Paris, and watching the tour on TV live every day has been quite a treat. Seeing it for real was, however, amazing. It may fly by in a few minutes, but the town spent the day building up to it, and it was great to be a part of that. Seeing people arrive on the same train as us, picking up details of a local tour history exhibit at the tourist office, and then spotting fellow fans throughout the day created quite an atmosphere.
Richard had chosen the stage well – Besançon is a medieval fort town, with incredible fortifications. We did not have long, but exploring the citadel in the afternoon was very rewarding – there were great views from its battlements. I would certainly like to return and spend more time exploring.
My photos are here. A birthday I will remember for a long time.