This morning we rode from Sedan – rain was threatening, but never materialized. The weather was perfect.
Today we didn’t have any sustained climbs, but several short ones over 10% grade. Our legs are getting stronger, but still hurt on these steep climbs. (Natalie’s note: Emphasis on the word “several.” And we rode through such beautiful rolling hillside farms!)
We arrived on Guignicourt around 3:30 and found our accommodations. A simple bed and breakfast on a working farm. The home was destroyed in World War I, and rebuilt shortly after. It was eventually gutted and used for storage. Recently the owner (probably a grandson or great grandson of the original owner) refinished the inside, so it is a unique combination of an old exterior with a very modern and well-appointed interior. It is very nice, but the hosts are even nicer. We talked for an hour or two, cooked dinner together (exceptional yet simple meal) and then talked for at least another hour. (Natalie again: They are so delightful and welcoming. We really feel at home. And we even got to see up close all his cool huge farm machinery! Pete loved their homemade apple juice.) Every bed and breakfast we have stayed at has been great. It’s like we’re winning the bnb lottery.
(Natalie’s PS about our hosts: Such a friendly and fascinating couple. She was born and raised in Siberia but has also lived, worked, and studied in France and Sweden. She speaks excellent English and of course French. She teaches languages online now. He is a farmer and has done agricultural internships and studies in other countries (like Australia, New Zealand, Sweden). He is amazingly organized. He knows a great deal about the area and its history. They are both fascinating to talk with.)