• James & Kate

Cruising past cathedrals and quiet places

Interesting day today as we almost saw more monuments than people.

We left the mad house at Fontevraud along one heck of a straight road. This Roman masterpiece (one of many I believe) did exactly what it set out to do - get people from A to B. Makes for a speedy if slightly uninteresting journey.

We darted through the town of Loudun, known mainly for its Vélodrome, last used in the 2000 Tour De France. We decided it was probably a little too early for a pit-stop, plus a visit to the Vélodrome wasn’t rocking our world - each to their own, but we like cycling to get to somewhere as opposed to just going round and round. So we powered into Montcontour for a 10am beer (yeah, and..?).

The cultural part of the day quickly took over as we headed over to the village’s main/only tourist attraction. An 11th century Dojon, also known as a defensive lookout tower. And lookout we did, onto the endless fields that we had just cycled through. Mushroom fields (that apparently supply most of Paris’ restaurants) wheat fields, barley fields, cabbage fields, herb fields, pine tree fields (that last one might be a forest but you get the gist - lots of fields).

We continued speedily and straight (thanks to those Romans) towards Airvault, a charming little city worth a cultural wander to check out the remains of an abbey and medieval village.

The last stint of the day involved a quick stop off at the impressive cathedral of Saint-Jouin-de-Marnes, and another at historic St-Loup-sur-Thouet (yet more culture), before heading to our final stop, Parthenay. There we wondered through the delightful cobbled streets, gatehouses and timbered 15th century houses of its medieval quarter.

Ok that’s it. The culture barometer is about to explode. It’s time for some beers.

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