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The Loire

The road early in today's ride. Scenery. A statue of Vercingetorix in Gien. Gien. I think those trees are showing that this shopping arcade is closed, apart from the first shop on ea... Apparently this leads to a view point but I'm not going to go up there. I've just come down from tha... Gien. The River Loire at Gien. I am seeing a lot of cyclists today. Gien and the Loire. For some reason, a dummy dressed in high-visibility workwear is in that cart. I probably could have reached Orleans today if I really wanted but I'm only going to Sully, so reall... Another pleasant road. A railway viaduct. Behind me, it crosses the river. More cyclists coming the other way. Scenery. This side of the Loire valley is pretty flat. A view of the river. My route. This nuclear power station was in sight for most of the day. How French! This particular little stretch of road had a lot of tractors ferrying that green stuff to somewhere. This water tower has a siren on it. I wonder if that's in case there is any kind of problem at the p... Saint-Gondon. The stream actually has a little waterfall underneath the building, which didn't come out well in pi... The cycle route is well-signposted. A village called Lion-en-Sullias. I could go either way here. A rather strange and unexplained memorial to the Titanic. Two touring cyclists. It looks like there used to be more to this building. A well-watered field. Sandbanks in the Loire. The man here is pulling a trailer with two young children in it. I have passed some other similar bi... Sully Castle. Sully Castle. Apparently it's open until six o'clock so I might come back here after having a shower. Photography ... Sully Castle. Part of the town of Sully, seen from the castle grounds. Sully Castle. This is Sully Beach, complete with some little beach huts. The building on the right, on the far sid... It reminds me a bit of ... The Loire. I have a sort of balcony tonight, although it's a continuous one shared with the neighbouring rooms.... I'm heading back across the Loire now to visit the castle. I can see fish in the river. Not just lit... A roof terrace at the castle. Sully. It turns out that the restaurant in my hotel doesn's open on Fridays so I decided to eat in town. Un... Preparing for this week's quiz. My view of the castle by night. The long row of lights are in a corridor which is on top of the ramparts but covered by the big roof... I have now discovered that the old railway bridge across the Loire in Sully has been converted for u... A bike which somebody else has posed on the bridge for a picture. Iridescence on a sign. An old abattoir. One of the power poles has broken and is now hanging from the cables. Those looks like some old 2CVs. A farm. I go left here. Discarded peppers, marrows and what look like leeks. A village called Sandillon. Markers showing the high water marks of some 19th century floods. Back on the Loire. Some machinery next to the levee. This map of Orleans appears to have been quite thoroughly shot. A little beach. A knitted spider on a web. These sheep came running over to see me. I don't know what they expected me to do but I think I prob... Is this so that tennis umpires can sit and look at the lake? A larger beach, on a lake. It's quite busy. I've come slightly off the recommended cycle route now. The signs are very good but then there was o... Orleans. I don't know how much water is normally in this river in the summer but this looks low. Looking along the Rue de Bourgogne which, since Roman times, has been the main street through the ci... The sign says that within the old city, bikes are allowed to go the wrong way along one-way streets.... Orleans. For a city centre in the middle of the daytime, it's incredibly quiet. I have stood here for about a... I might not park here. Orleans Cathedral. At the bottom of the picture is part of the ancient city wall from the 4th centur... A look inside. The date on the window says 1679. When I saw it I thought the window must have been replaced then bu... Orleans Cathedral and a neighbouring synagogue. Most of the statues in Orleans are in this style. In front of the cathedral. Orleans Cathedral. Just a flag. Orleans city centre. The brick building is a 16th century palace where King Francois II dies in 1560. It became the town ... A better view of the bride. I watched to see what else they did. Photographs with the car. Crossing the tram lines. Some other guests. Now the wedding party is going into the cathedral but I think they are just going in as tourists sin... The town hall. If you look closely, you can see another bride and bridesmaids on the steps waiting t... Another of the wedding cars. A panoramic view. For some reason, the car on the left has its widows open and the Russian national anthem blaring fro... Orleans. I haven't seen any clouds in 11 days and I believe the hot dry weather here has been going on for ab... I also get a view of it from this porthole in the bathroom. THE PHONE! Incidentally, all of the walls in the corridors of this hotel have the texture that you s... The 15th Century part of Orleans is now pedestrianised. The 16th century expansion, which is surroun... Orleans. Sorry, I can't resist seeing one of these without captioning it ... The Place du Martroi, with a statue of Joan of Arc on horseback. Orleans has plenty of places to sit. there are lots of cafes and restaurants with their own pavement... Some other tourists. Orleans. Orleans. I have had pretty much the same music collection on my mp3 player, and more recently my phone, for a... The playful fountains have gone into a mist mode. I don't think I've ever seen a city with as many touring bicycles. There are some pretty good cycle ... The Royal Road. Looking towards the river. Joan of Arc was only actually in Orleans for about two weeks. She lived where the dark-coloured hous... I payed 6 euros to go in but it wasn't really worth it. It's not the original building, only the gro... The plaques in the floor give the three historical names of the city: Cenabum, Aurelianus and Orlean... This sign gives the river temperature and also gives its height as -1.2 metres. I don't know whether... I'm now on the south bank, at the place which was the turning point of the Hundred Years' War. Witho... This bridge is now one-way for cars but has a two-way bike lane, tram lines and a footpath which mos... I don't know what the question mark is for. I haven't got a close-up picture of the thing on the lef... This man is on the island in the middle of the Loire. Above and to the left of the modern depth gauge is an older one painted on the stone. It marks the h... Just a building. Strange paving. A tourist train. The tower of St. Paul's church is on the left. The signpost in the middle points to Orleans' twin ci... Orleans. Whenever I have seen pictures of this road, it has had a whole load of different medieval-style flag... Another picture. That looks like the remnants of one of yesterday's weddings. Orleans Cathedral. Orleans Cathedral. I don't think the small model is anything special but the big one is actually the architect's plan f... Orleans Cathedral. The stained glass windows depict Joan of Arc's actions in the Siege of Orleans. One of the altars. The organ has 3760 pipes and was refurbished between 2004 and 2008. Apparently somebody from Austria... This is part of some vaulting which apparently didn't really work and collapsed onto the altar in 19... Orleans Cathedral. The inside of ... Orleans Cathedral. At this end of the cathedral are several small chapels. This again. This shows a recommended walking route between Orleans and Chartres, which is an option for people w... There is a big projector screen visible at the top of this picture. I don't know whether it's anythi... A last look at the inside of the cathedral. Like many towns in France, Orleans has underground car parks under most of the public squares. There... The building with the big mast is called the Prefecture. I don't know what that is. This is how the tops of the towers on the West entrance actually look. Orleans Cathedral. One of the things that I saw this morning while reading about Orleans was a painting showing Joan of... A collapsing building. A strange set of doors. Some of the roads have pixel art like this above their names. Orleans. Orleans. Orleans. The courtyard of the archaeological museum. I went in because it was included in the price of the ti... This is a public garden. A sign says that anybody is welcome to plant things here. Back here again. This is near Orleans station. There has been a bit of rain this morning but it might have stopped no... Orleans. Oh. I wanted to go that way. The red sign on the left says that that is military land and we should ... Scenery. I'm only a few miles from my destination now and the land is flat but I'm going into the wi... Another view, including the A19 motorway. And another view. On the left is the spire of the church in Artenay, the village where I will be staying tonight. The ... This elevated track runs right across the landscape at a constant height above ground level. As I wa... Now that I have reached it, I can see what it is and I'm glad I didn't bother waiting. There hasn't ... Now I see why the track is elevated; you can't have a level crossing with a monorail. Artenay. The church clock shows that it is two o'clock so I could go and check in to my hotel right ... Artenay. Artenay. While reading about something else a few days ago, I happened to learn that apart from the Aerotrain... According to the sign, there is going to be a torchlight procession here tomorrow night with paper l... A quiet place to wait until a reasonable time to go to the hotel. The view from my room tonight isn't great. I was confused while trying to book this place. The hotel booking websites all showed two hotels in ... There are a lot of signs for the two hotels here, to attract travellers from the motorway. They all ... In the grounds of courtepaille. I don't know how authentic it is. This is quite a big chain in France but I don't think I've ever been to one before. A lot of the foo... The evening sky. While I was packing in my room this morning, I heard what sounded like a marching band so I've come ... These look like firefighters... ... and soldiers. Some of the audience don't seem very interested. From where I'm standing at the moment, I can't actually see a band so I wondered whether all the mus... Ah, there is a band. Where are the going now? They all came here to line up in front of this bank for a while and not really do anything. That's the scruffiest shirt that I've ever seen medals on. After a while, they all just started to wander off. Looking back towards the spire of Artemay church. My road for most of today was like this. The view in that direction is rather metallic. Santilly. Why so many? Farm machinery. These benches look like a good place to have a rest. It seems a bit strange to have them on both sid... just some scenery. The church in Moutiers. Moutiers, my half-way point for today. I have passed a lot of these giant reels of hosepipe in the fields today. This will be the third time that I have visited Chartres. I've passed through in a different directi... Another little rest stop. Can you see the cathedral? Here's a closer look. I won't actually get up close to it today though. There is rain forecast for t... This is a monument to the treaty of Bretigny, which was signed here between England and France in 13... This hotel has a load of Tesla chargers. Weirdly though for somewhere on an industrial park on the e... It took me about three hours to realise that I do actually have a view of the cathedral's spires fro... I have seen news reports of torrential rain and flooding in Paris yesterday. I'm only 75 km from Par... This place was originally a farm but then it started taking in other unwanted animals, often from ci... A three-legged goat enjoying the sunshine. The smallest of the three elephants. The elephants are tyring to cool themselves with sand. Elephant. The elephants. Elephants. Elephant. Some enclosures. This is where the lemurs will be once they arrive. Another part of the elephant enclosure. Some of the animals are more exotic than others. This was all I saw of a tiger. Capybaras. Apparently this is a male lion but it was neutered at an early age to make it less dangerous so it n... The lion enclosure. A wallaby. A bear. The bear enclosure. To mis-quote Cabin Pressure: ... A camel who worked for a circus until she broke her knees getting out of a trailer. Things not to do when near monkeys. Somebody creating a new pool next to the existing sea lion pool. They look pretty human to me. This monkey is eating a boiled egg, like I have been doing most mornings. The signs and map don't say anything about there being galahs here. I was thinking of stopping here for something to eat on the way back but the banner is making me thi... Chartres sunset. There are no Teslas in the car park this morning but there is a Lotus on a trailer. It looks like this road into Chartres was a four-lane road which has been replaced with a two-lane r... This junction is being rearranged and most of it is closed but the bike lanes are still open. The closest I got to central Chartres this year. Another view. One thing I have noticed a lot this year is how France loves kerbs. Those cars had to get up a kerb ... I decided to try ignoring this warning that the road ahead was closed. Looking back towards Chartres. The road wasn't closed. It was just that for the last 10 km there have been quite a lot of places wh... I would cross this old railway line several times during the day. A farm. I think those are biogas tanks. An example of today's scenery. The village of Chene-Chenu. For the last two or three days, I have been seeing a lot of wheels like the one on the right. They a... A tractor kicking up dust. Here, my road crosses something called the Royal Route, which is an unsurfaced track through the for... An old sign. Just a house. I've stopped for a rest here, even though I'm only 3 km from my hotel. The headwind is making it har... An impressive house but its chimney is leaning worryingly. The view from my window tonight is of a rooftop patio. I have realised on this trip that one thing that I really like having in a hotel room is a proper gl... The hotel restaurant, with my bike leaning against the pool table. There is no written menu here. Th... The church in Brezolles has a surprisingly modern clock face. I could take any of these three roads. They all go to Verneuil, where I am planning to have lunch. T... The river Avre. Another stream. Some scenery.