Stage 7 start

Stage 7 start, originally uploaded by Helen K.

Viva le tour!

On Friday we said goodbye to the Tour de France, as we watched the sign-on of the cyclists and the depart for the last time.

After keying into the GPS “Bugatti circuit”, we arrived and eventually parked. By this stage we learnt to park like the French – anywhere is good enough. We walked to the started and looked around, much of the space in front of the sign on centre area was already 4-5 deep, and found a spot on the side on the fence that the cyclists had to go past to enter the centre area.

While waiting there was the usual entertainment, from the Nesquick Rabbit, and Skoda Yeti (of which I got a hug), and team Vittel. By now we knew the routine. Then right on queue as the riders began to sign on, it rained again, and out came the poncho. Our location turned out to be absolutely perfect. Interviews were done in the area in right in front of us. A few cyclists came to sign autographs for people nearby. Cadel, and Griepel spoke to the journos from SBS. Ah magic! While I didn’t get any signatures, I just kept taking photos.

Seeing the Tour de France was amazing – but on reflection, it certainly made me value the experience of the Tour Down Under, given the access to the riders, bike preparation area, not to mention location – given the amazing experience you can have at little or no cost.

Le Mans lights

Le Mans lights, originally uploaded by Helen K.

The name of the city Le Mans, conjures up thoughts of Top Gear, and motor racing. Not a medieval city, rich in history. It was a pleasant surprise.

We stayed in the old section, opposite Cathedral St-Julien (XI-XV). During July and August they are featuring projected images on the historical buildings throughout the old area. For those of you who remember Northern Lights part of the Adelaide Festival, this was leagues in front with music, and moving images. As nightfalls around 11pm, it commenced at 11:30, and was very worthwhile!