Many things running through my head today as I was riding. “There’s nowhere I’d rather be, there’s nothing I’d rather be doing.” That was one. The other was this: “Nobody at home knows where I am, nobody here knows who I am.” Freedom of identity, the reason so many kids feel so changed by their backpacking trips abroad. We can recreate ourselves when we’re away from the forces that shaped us at home.
And I love that I could be anywhere right now and nobody knows the difference. That being said…
I’m in Tours, a city on the Loire River in the middle of France. It’s a really cool little place, with plenty of pedestrian streets, a lot of inviting bars, lots of young people (there must be a university here) and just a good vibe overall. Very lively.
Tonight I sat in a bar and wrote in my journal about the day and I got a chocolat chaud for a couple Euros. When I dropped the sugar cube in, a puff of steam popped out of the foam.
(The guy in the background was the gay bartender who had a thing for me. Who am I to not return flirtation?)
They do everything better here, and it hits you at every meal – the cheese in the picture above is the best cheese I’ve had since I was last in France. The bread has toasted sunflower seeds with a complex flavor we’d never associate with bread. At the same boulangerie, I got a whiskey truffle (30 cents!) which was perfectly bitter and powdery on the outside. The chocolate shell CRUNCHED, and the whiskey mousse on the inside melted on my tongue. It was crazy good. It was worth the cost of the scooter. I should have bought the tray.
– I got 10 liters of gas (for 10 Euros) and I’ll probably go 250 km on it… can someone figure out the mpg for me?
– I had a tarte aux pommes for breakfast as the sun was “rising” in Rambouillet (it was raining hard). Then I had an egg mcmuffin in Chartres when I discovered that McDonald’s has free wifi.
– Lunch and dinner were the same – that sunflower baguette with cheese and sausage. The sausage has cheese in it too.
– I rode in the wind and rain this morning and anticipated a long, painful day, but by the afternoon it was sunny and windy.
– Here’s a video from the beginning of my ride.
I’m spending two nights here in Tours – the Loire Valley is a Unesco World Heritage site, so I’m going to spend tomorrow on the scooter with our good camera trying to capture some of it.