Avignon to Lyon to Victoria: Au revoir France 🇫🇷 Bonjour Canada 🇨🇦 - Cycling Provence - CycleBlaze

June 9, 2017

Avignon to Lyon to Victoria: Au revoir France 🇫🇷 Bonjour Canada 🇨🇦

Final thoughts

Over the past 23 days I rode 874km /543mi across Provence. This is half the distance of my last trip consequently I had the time to experience more of the sights, sounds and food of France. The first part was a tour group organized as a hub and spoke/fixed based tour in Vaison la Romaine a lovely little town in central Provence. The next section was a solo self-guided tour in another area of Provence including south to the Camargue region. While I would prefer not to do solo trips I enjoyed this one that was well organized by the tour company. I will be using them again for a trip to the Alsace and Burgundy next year. I enjoy cycling in France because of the beauty and history of the various regions but also the drivers are very good and amazingly respectful of cyclists. Yesterday I rode across a very busy bridge without a bike lane and a big truck just waited behind me until I crossed making no attempt to pass. This is quite typical. I have found the people very friendly and welcoming and at no time did I ever fear to my safety, something I can't say about cycling in North America. There is of course the French lifestyle and the food both of which are very pleasant and so different from back home. You need to slow down and appreciate the finer things in life when you are here and whatever you do don't try to change that, it can't be done. Stores still close on Sunday and between 12-3 most days, lunch is a 2 hour affair and dinner doesn't start until at least 7PM at the earliest. Remember my pushing the wet spaghetti analogy. Pleasantries such as saying bonjour (good day), merci (thank you), bonne journée (have a good day) and s'il vous plaît (please) go a long way here even to people you don't know or just happen to meet. Cyclists say bonne route (have a good ride) as you go by. Restaurants are generally quiet and people speak in quiet tones rather than having loud music over which we all have to speak making it noisy. What a pleasant change.

To all who have followed along with my blog thank you. I enjoyed writing it especially when I was alone because it made me feel like I had company. My next adventures are a home based Canada 150 tour with my Canadian and American friends and a trip to Italy and Spain to celebrate my 65th birthday. Watch for more blogs. I am taking 2 days to get home because I didn't want to ruin a great trip over the stress of train and airplane schedules, besides I am retired and I have the time. I will be back to France probably twice next year, au revoir et à bientôt.

Au revoir!!!!
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