I was coming down with a cold and was grappling with the gears on the bike and snot streaming down my face while struggling on the uphill climbs up to Sancerre village. All in, we covered 30 miles (66km) in one day. We were thankful for the perfect weather which was cool yet sunny throughout the journey.
For dinner, Michelle served escargots cooked in a cream sauce and pan-fried fish (plaice) that was tender and succulent. In the typical French tradition, we were offered a platter of cheese. I usually choose the mild ones like the Camembert which is a soft, creamy French cheese and Brie. Though this region is famous for its goat cheese, we're simply not used to the intense smell. Dessert was a tangy sorbet sandwiched between choux pastry.
This is where we started ... from a little village about 30km away from Sancerre.
The vineyards of Sancerre.
The steep climb to Sancerre hilltop village was tormenting. We had to get off our bikes. Of course the rest of the group rode all the way to the top. They admitted it was a really tough one, even for them.
This charming medieval town offers steep and winding streets, several fine restaurants, gabled and turreted architecture, centuries-old homes, a lively square and Maison St. Denis.
We even spotted a pink Cadillac! It must have been the playground for the rich and famous at one time.
The old-world little town of Sancerre picturesquely situated on a hill in rolling country. An old defensive tower now serves as the belfry of the church of Notre-Dame. In the park surrounding the Château is the Tour des Fiefs, a 14th century keep which is all that remains of a castle of the Counts of Sancerre.
On the way back, we rode past many sunflower fields. It was almost time for harvest and the flowers have all dried up. It must have been a blazing yellow stretch just weeks before.
After a long day of riding, we relaxed in the garden before dinner, enjoying a glass of wine. I was reading about Apremont, the place we were riding to on friday. Ok, the book's in French, so I just looked at the pictures.