We got up early, packed and dashed for the bus to le Gare (train station) in Mulhouse. The original plan was to stow our luggage in a lockers, go to the official “depart” or start. Alas, in France there are no lockers in train stations, so we adapted. I asked a policeman to show me on the map where the Tour route passed closest to the train station. We schlepped our bags about 5 blocks and found a great spot for viewing the caravan and the start.
The first cute dog alert occurred just moments after we sat down at a café for a coffee. I ended up taking so many pictures of cute dogs that Hetta and I joked that today it was Le Tour of Chiens (dogs).
We had a lot of fun and it was easier than going to the official start. We nipped back to the station and made our respective trains. So glad I had this time with the WatLoves and great to see Nora and Grace Julie growing into adventurous young women.
I bought a first class ticket on the train to Lyon because it was only E3 difference. I am not sure what advantage there is to first class other than better padded chairs and a plug for recharging my computer. Noticing a lot of all white cows in fields. It is an unfamiliar breed and it is hard not to think of them as ghost cows.
By the time I got to Lyon I was feeling truly rotten from this cold. It is a bank holiday weekend so no pharmacies open (not even the 24/7 emergency pharmacy!) No room service. Just one lonely desk clerk who filled two teapots with hot water. Got to my room and turned on the Tour and watched the last 34 km. Shock! Contador crashed out. So sad for him and for all fans. Thought the break would stay away and then Nibali decided to write his name all over that last climb and crushed it. He deserves the yellow jersey.
July 14 is Bastille Day and if you think it might be like Independence Day in the USA with decorations everywhere, you would be wrong. They put all their money toward fireworks. I woke up from my drugged sleep thinking that I was in Syria. Then I remembered my original intention was to stay close to old Lyon so I could see the Bastille Day fireworks. Oh well. I am in it for Paris and it another 2 weeks on the road.
Tomorrow I am meeting the Thomson Tour group at 8:30 a.m. and gladly letting them lead me for the second half of my adventure. I will be the mysterioso member of the group if I still do not have my voice. (P.S. I sound like Demi Moore today.)