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I forgot to mention that yesterday, as we rode through the Limousin countryside, it was Bastille Day in France, the equivalent of Canada Day but the history much different and more violent! A day the French celebrate with fireworks and military parades….only flags were flying where we were.
After heading mostly west for 4 weeks, we headed north this morning on our 3rd last day of riding. A nice descent took us out 15 km from the Chateau Saint Martin ( we were reluctant to leave that beautiful hotel!).
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Our first stop was Oradour-Sur-Glane, where we stopped to visit a memorial…more on that in my next post.
Then the roads became single lane again and extremely quiet and we rode through ‘ Les Plus Beaux Villages de France’, Mortemart.
And coffee in the village of Montrol-Seward.
The region of Limousin is not as well known as some of its neighbouring areas but is a lot less travelled, making it ideal for cycling.
We rode across the Vienne river on the top of a huge viaduct, had another great picnic lunch on the shade of a 32C day, then afterwards rode past and under that viaduct.
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We finished the day by riding into the city of Poitiers.
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Poitiers is where Eleanor of Aquitaine, Queen of England and mother to Richard lived most of her life. It was the centre of Aquitaine. Some of Richard’s remains are buried here. There are many historic buildings here, some which date back to the 4th century!
Eleanor of Aquitaine’s palace where she held court, an excellent example of medieval architecture:
Saint Pierre’s Cathedral was commissioned by Eleanor and Henry II, began construction in the mid-1150’s, took over 200 yr to complete…the King and Queen never saw it completed. However the stained glass window over the main alter depicts Henry and Eleanor as the benefactor of the window. Another example of Angevin Gothic architecture, it is a massive building.
Eleanor’s stained glass window
We enjoyed dinner outside in the city’s main square with a large salad, a huge pot of wine/garlic mussels and a pint of Kronenburg
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Life is good in Poitiers!