Day 9 : Train back to Nevers - Lack of Imagination Loire Valley - Tandem Tour - July 2021 - CycleBlaze

July 22, 2021

Day 9 : Train back to Nevers

All the riding was done, but today we had a new challenge:  Would we and the tandem make it back to Nevers, where we left the car?

We had breakfast in the hotel, then went down to the garage to take out the boom tubes of the tandem and replace them with the short pieces that make the tandem into kind of a single.

The tandem pretending to be a single bike
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We had bought tickets last night, so we chilled in our room until about 11.We checked out and moseyed over to the train station, where we waited for the announcement for our 1205 train to Nevers.

At the stroke of 1135, the monitors indicated quai “B”.  Rich hustled the bike over to the train, found the bike car, and loaded up the tandem, narrowly beating another couple of bike tourists who were doing the same thing.

Robin handled getting the bags on board, and within a minute or two, we were sitting happily on the train with the bike hanging from the designated hangers. 

The tandem fits perfectly into the holders in this configuration. Win!!
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As we sat waiting for the train to leave, another couple showed up.  That meant that 5 of the 6 hangers on the train were taken.  This was a TER train, where you can’t reserve the hangers.  So we were feeling pretty good about ourselves.

The train left Tours and in a few minutes pulled into the first stop, where there were 4 more bikes waiting on the platform.  In true French style, they all just got on and soon there were bikes all over the place!   No one complained - everyone just kind of shuffled around to make room.  Sometimes I just love this country….

We had a nice, easy ride up the valley of the Cher, passing Chenonceaux and also stopping in Vierzon and Bourges, which we’ve never visited.  After 2.5 hours, we pulled into Nevers, and panic struck.  It turned out that all the bikes except for 2 were getting off in Nevers.

A group effort ensued, as everyone pitched in to get the bikes and bags off the train.  Luckily we had a 9 minute stop, so there was plenty of time.  We put the rear bags on the bike, and Robin carried the other bags.  Then down the stairs, under the tracks, and back up the stairs.  We made it!

We put the rest of the bags back on the bike and wheeled it up to our hotel, then into the garage.  The bike and bags went into the car, and we proceeded to check into the hotel.

After cooling off a bit, we went out to explore Nevers.   We hadn’t had time when we were here earlier.   First off was the cathedral, whose windows had all been blown out by an errant bomb in WWII.

Nevers Cathedral with its modern windows
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Cool old clock in the cathedral. One of the little men on top strikes the hour on the bell held by the other.
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One of the unusual things about this cathedral is that it has 2 naves.  At the west end is a beautiful old Romanesque nave with a great fresco in the ceiling.

The older I get, the more I like Romanesque architecture.
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The remainder of the church is built in 14th century gothic.   We went down into the crypt and there was a really interesting sculpture group down there.

These are painted carved stone, I believe
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All of the windows in the cathedral are modern, which is actually kind of cool.  They actually work really well with the Romanesque part of the church.  In my opinion, less well with the gothic part.

In the Romanesque crypt
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From the cathedral, we walked over to the Ducal Palace, checking out the old old houses in the neighborhood.  There are a lot of them!

Old houses in Nevers
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 I read somewhere that the Ducal Palace is considered to be one of the first chateaux built in the valley of the Loire.  It’s a beautiful building, for sure, but there’s not much on the inside.  Most of it is used for city offices and can’t be visited.  Very nice from the outside, though…

The Ducal Palace, Nevers
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And then there were more great old houses…

Half-timbered house, Nevers
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And with that, we’re done!  I’ll write a conclusions page in a few days, but for now, I’ll close this journal with another shot of the Ducal Palace.  I want to give credit here to Robin, who was the tour photographer.  She has a great eye and it’s been really fun every night going through her pictures to choose the ones that end up in this journal.

The Ducal Palace, Nevers
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It’s time for us to get back to Limoux to enjoy all the fun stuff that happens during the summertime.  We’ll be back out in the fall if at all possible.  We both thank everyone for reading this journal, and thanks for the comments.  We’d like to encourage you to come tour in France if you have the opportunity.  It’s a great place to be a cyclist!

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