Jour Trieze - France on a roll -- depending on charm - CycleBlaze

June 24, 2011

Jour Trieze

Okay, I finally have a gripe! I stopped at a WWII museum in Bayuex and asked if I could use their bathroom, AKA toilets.
"Can I use your toilet?" I asked, after first establishing they spoke English.
"You can only use it if you visit the museum," said the woman at the desk.
"I've seen all the WWII museums I want to see," I said. "Can I just use the toilet?"
"I'm sorry"
"How about if I pay to use it?"
"Do you want to pay the entry fee?"
"No, what if I pay to use the toilet."
"I'm sorry."

It went on like that for a minute until finally I left.

Okay, so I'm in a museum that is there, in part, to 'honor' and thank America and other allied countries. I know I didn't do the actual fighting myself, but I am a citizen of one of those countries and I can't use the toilet? Is it about cost? I offered to pay? And how much could one flush cost anyway? It wasn't even #2, it was #1. France toilets have two types of flushes, a #1 flush and the more energetic #2 flush. I would have used the #1 flush for crying out loud. I can see if some small store doesn't want people traipsing through the back of their store, but a WWII museum that is quite large? I notice the French seem a little more protective of their toilets, as far as people actually using them, but still...

Other than that it was a nice day. I did a long ride today, from Omaha Beach area to Falalise, which is the town that William the Conqueror was born and has a big castle on the hill. It felt good to do a longer ride.

I enjoyed the farmland I rode through and, even though it is decidedly French, it is still somewhat like landscape I can get back home. I had originally planned to take a train to Eastern France but there is so much to see I am moving MUCH slower than I did last year riding cross country so I'm changing the play at the line of scrimmage and will come up with a new plan tomorrow.

As for Falalise; it has a wonderful municipal campground right near the town center and within sight of the castle. It's beautiful! I also picked out a site next to a nice German woman named Tania. She invited me for tea and we ended up pooling our food for dinner. It is also her birthday so she broke out some wine and I broke out my chocolate and we had a little birthday celebration, without the singing of course, I didn't want to scare the other campers.

It really was a beautiful day to ride
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By the way, this is a typical French campsite. Not "rustic" like in the U.S. but I like them. Clean (for the most part), safe, and inexpensive compared to hotels.
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The military cemeteries seem to be everywhere! This one with British soldiers from WWII was in the middle of nowhere. The only ones around were the caretakers, who left soon after I arrived. I try to stop at all of the military cemeteries to pay my respects; today I stopped at three. I regret that I missed the German cemetery near the coast but it was too hard to get to on my route with a bike.
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A far away shot of the same cemetery, in a farmers field.
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More of the French country side
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Love those old buildings
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Loved this! The speed "reminder" first flashed the driver's speed. Then it flashed a smiley face of they were under the speed limit and a frown if they were over the speed limit. Gotta love it!
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By the way, I found a new use for old French bread... I needed to lube my chain but didn't have a spare rag. I did, however, have day old French bread which gets soggy after 8 hours and is completely useless the next day unless you are a starving touring cyclist. So I came up with a hair brained scheme to use it to lube my chain and it worked like a charm!
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This is the view from my tent. Not bad, eh!
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...and this is Tania and our feast
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That lady looks very, well, blue.
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Today's ride: 93 km (58 miles)
Total: 524 km (325 miles)

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