Monday, July 25, 2011

European Vacation...Third Stop....Tour de France in Lisieux

The train ride from Caen to Lisieux was about 45 minutes, we had planned on attending The Tour since we started planning our trip but we weren't sure how it would all work many people would be there, how close we would be able to get, if we would get to see it at all???? It all worked out great, and even with the rain, we had a great day!

We arrived about 11 and started our walk into town. From just about anywhere in town, you could see the Basilica of St. Therese and this was definitely going to be a stop during the day! We quickly found the Tour route and followed it up the hill into town. It started to rain and we found a cafe to duck into for a drink...some had coffee, some coke, and some beer! Once the rain let up we continued our walk and found a bakery with the largest meringue any of us had seen! We immediately thought of Grandma and had to try one for her! Next stop, Basilica! It was beautiful and built fairly recently. The mosaics that covered the inside were absoluetely beautiful!

After our tour in the Basilica we continued to follow the Tour route. We got to the 1km mark and Zander was ready for a snack and a nap so Jordyn and I took a break here and everyone else continued on to see the finish line. The crowds definitely picked up at this point but they made their way to the end, got some freebies, saw the podium, and saw the TV crew getting ready for the race.

We then made our way back down the tour route, had lunch and found our spot to watch the race. As some extra excitement, the woman next to us on the lawn passed out on Kristi! Very scary but the paramedics came and she looked to be recovering nicely. THEN the rains came, downpour! We took cover under some trees and the skys cleared just as all the pre-tour parade began! Rick was very good in getting everyones attention and getting lots of free stuff! Candy, hats, can openers, was crazy! Shortly after the bikers came through and we had a great spot to watch. We were at the 2km as they climbed a hill. This was the longest stage of the Tour and we couldn't believe how tired they all looked! As the peleton went by, it was hard to believe we were really there for this...The water from the earlier rain was still coming off all the helmets and they looked ready to be done! We cheered and got some great photos!!

After the racers all passed us, we started to head down the hill and back to the train station. At one point, the police started to move us off the road for a biker who was just coming through...poor guy was a ways behind the rest and when we got home, Bryan looked it up and he was disqualified that day! We made it back to the train and back to Caen. We were all hungry and decided not to risk another Creperie night so we headed back to French restaurant from the first night...delicious!

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