Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Swiss Roll - Day 4, Sainte Menehould to Nancy, 88 miles

Even earlier start today - awake at 6.30, set off by 8.00. Expecting more heat, bigger hills and rain, so a good idea to get ahead...

There are already clouds forming as we leave and head up and down a series of hills.

Swiss Roll - Day 4, Sainte Menehould

With less sun and a breeze it feels cooler. We reach a plateau and enjoy the morning, making good progress to arrive in Verdun for early elevenses.

The town is pretty normal, apart from being dotted with tributes to the hundred of thousands of men who died fighting in the First World War in forts that surround it. From the official monument:

Swiss Roll - Day 4, Verdun

To Rodin's impassioned sculpture:

Verdun - Rodin Sculpture

After the town there are a series of long hills, reaching 1,200 feet. But they are followed by a long downhill and a race across flat terrain with a strong wind behind us for the first time.

With 20 miles to go we make relatively easy work of more hills before dropping down to the river Moselle for the last miles to Nancy, where drizzle starts just as we arrive at 5.

The city is the capital of Lorraine and crammed with history, while also seeming rather bohemian.

Nancy Cafes

The weather gods have been very kind today. The route tomorrow should be easier, but it will depend on the sun, rain and heat...

Here's a video of today's ride: