This is the view we had for most of the day - 400kms of motorway
Today was a driving day. 650kms from Grindelwald to Orleans in France. The route was essentially to Bern, Newchatel, over the border into France through the Jura's then towards Paris and finally south to Orleans. We left at 9am and arrived at 5.15pm with four stops along the way to give Lindsay a rest, a drink and a shake up for the next 100 or so.
The first part of the journey to the French border was interesting enough through cropping country mainly. Into the Jura mountains it became very rocky - mainly weathered limestone and clay. Once out of the hills we went into dairying country, followed by miles of cropping in the rolling country and down to the vast flats. It was surprisingly quite sparsely populated. The further west we went closer to Paris we got into chateau country spotted around the countryside in the distance. There were many boards up along the road showing the various historic sites but you couldn't see them.
Most of the way in France we travelled on motorways at 130kmph. They are fantastic roads and only cost us E40 for 400kms. A great way to get from A to B quickly. We were interested to see that we went through or near Beaune and other nearby places that we had travelled with Ray and Judy just a few years back. Familiar wine growing country.
Another impressive thing about the motorways were the numerous places to pull off and picnic, rest, eat, fill up or whatever. Some were just tables and benches, others the full monty. But they were regular so no excuse for falling asleep and not resting.
Lindsay drove the whole way so he needed a rest on arrival needless to say. A long way to drive all in one hit. Neil didn't drive as it appears that his wrist is broken or cracked so it is not a good idea.
On arrival in Orleans, most of the Froude Clan had arrived with only Cherie and Dan to come. We were given our rooms and biking packages with details for the route and tomorrow morning we'll be briefed before we leave. After a rest and cleanup we walked into the city (about 5kms or more!) to check it out and have dinner. The town is quite impressive but time did not allow for a full exploration. It was crowded with huge numbers of people dining and drinking. It seemed a typical Saturday night there. We eventually found somewhere that would take 10 people and walked back to the hotel arriving around midnight with sore feet.
Biking comes tomorrow.
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