It has been a whirlwind of a couple of days. Yesterday with heavy hearts we bid farewell to Bonnieux and our ages old stone cottage. Provence was phenomenal and didn’t disappoint for weather, beauty or tranquility. We set sail for Albertville in Northeast France as the tour was to kick off at noon. We made good time and as a result we learned a few things being considerably early.
First, the early bird gets the worm. By worm I mean it gets pelted with freebies from the dozens of sponsormobiles. Each sponsor has worker-bees who are roped on to the back of their vehicles in precarious positions so that they can throw anything from tiny sausages to lanyards to hats (got one) to the thousands of totally committed fans that line the route.
It took 3x longer for the sponsor peloton to go by than the actual peloton 2 hours later (spoiler alert). But when the real peloton comes by it is quite something I must admit. It is another bucket list’r checked off. I’ll say it again, quite something. When you have seen the last rider go by you actually feel a bit of an adrenaline dump.
I can’t say for sure that I even caught a glimpse of the maillot jaune but that’s ok. It was an awesome afternoon where we were right there on the side of the road. For countless years every July we have have eaten our family dinner on our laps in front of the TV watching the tour from home in Victoria. The scenery, the spectacular racing, the controversy (thanks Lance).
We moved on from Albertville to Chamonix to catch a glimpse of Mont Blanc. As a kid I was completely consumed by the extreme ski films made by Warren Miller. Chamonix was always a location for some of Warren’s best skiers to do what they do in order to thrill every ticket paying movie goer.
So it all came together. I got there (in the wrong season mind you) and it is beautiful. To see Mont Blanc there in all its glory was just a bit over the top. The glacier falls away from the summit and the ice is a beautiful bright blue.
Today we drove to Interlaken in Switzerland and I was not shocked to see the dozens of tour buses near the railroad station (there wasn’t a Swiss person to be seen). We set the GPS for a restaurant high atop the town at quite an elevation.
The Eiger stands proud nearby and we were entertained by the view from table. Like it was on cue, dozens of parasailors fell from the sky above us and disappeared below to the valley floor. Tomorrow we hope to up our game and head towards the Black Forrest in Bavaria.