Jour Vingt et un: Hey, mom, I went to church today! - France on a roll -- depending on charm - CycleBlaze

June 30, 2011

Jour Vingt et un: Hey, mom, I went to church today!

You read that right, mom! I went to church! Well, kind of...

I was going to visit an abby that people said was kind of cool, and I had yet to be to an actual abby. So I set out this morning and was riding along the usual quiet country roads and bike paths, when I ran into Leslie and her husband from England. We talked about the usual things and they mentioned that at 11:00am they have mass at the cathedral at the abby and that it's kind of cool to listen to the Gregorian chants and all. "What time is it?" I asked. It was 10:45...

...so I hustled-up and put the hammer down, as much as you can put the hammer down on a Bike Friday loaded down with enough crap to live for a year, and made it to the church around 11:15. So I sat down in the back and kind listened, and stood and sat when everyone else did, keeping in mind it was in French, and I assume Latin.

It was the whole shebang too, a whole mass with chants and communion and even incense! And as much as I am not catholic and am basically a heathen, I did think it was cool, because a lot of these cathedrals are really nice architecturally, and the engineering to create them at a time, when they didn't have cranes or any off that stuff, is remarkable--still, in the end, when nothing is going on inside them, they are still just "buildings." But seeing the service in the church made is seem more, I guess, "real" or something. I liked it, especially since they didn't kick me out for being a heathen!

The only thing that was kind of a bummer is that I thought there would be more to see than the cathedral, like some abby stuff, but I guess they don't want people poking around a working abby with real monks in their monk robes?

After that I road on to Sully-Sur-Loire, a really nice little town and a REALLY cool castle. Built in the 14th century it was originally a fortress but as the centuries went on it became more of just a fancy house for fancy people. It was really cool though, the nicest one I've seen so far, at least from the outside.

When I was done there it was only about 4:00pm. Normally, since it doesn't get dark until around 11:00pm, I would ride for another couple of hours. But today I decided to call it a day. The legs were feeling heavy so I rode to the campground, did laundry, kicked back and now I'm eating pizza at the campground, which actually has a little restaurant.

The waitress just came by. I think these pizzas are supposed to be for 2 people and, though she tried to hide it, I think she was amazed the plate is clean. Either that or she thinks I'm a pig, take your pick, she is probably right!

Yeah, baby! A John Deere! It brought a tear to my eye to tell you the truth, and I almost sang the Star Spangled Banner
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The cathedral at the abby, where I attended mass
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Kids on what looked a like a school outing--riding bikes! Cool!
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The castle at Sully-Sur-Loire
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The castle courtyard, through the looking glass. Or, in this case, through the stained glass.
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...a different angle
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Inside the castle. To tell you the truth, the bed looks a little lumpy!
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This is the ceiling of one of the rooms. It doesn't look like much, until you realize it was made without nails or fasteners, just wood and stone. Look at next picture for explanation of the construction techniques.
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In the castle courtyard
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Not a bad place for a nap!
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The castle again
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Now isn't THIS a good idea. A dog leash holder outside a store.
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Look, Roy. Safe for cyclists and fire fighters! The two best kinds of people!
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Today's ride: 43 km (27 miles)
Total: 1,071 km (665 miles)

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