Cakes: 1 croissant each; 0.5 pain au chocolat; Coffee 2 x each
We woke up to fog this morning (at last a chance to say au fait du brouillard - and I could be way off on the spelling there - something I learned at school but never had an opportunity to actually say in an authentic context). The fog cleared to give us wall to wall blue skies, and a chance to cycle in the sun.
Almost immediately we spotted vineyards - lots of them - striding up hills in straight lines, being tended by hand and by this great machine that trims the vines by driving over the top of them. Well - maybe not literally. The trimming blades and cab are perfectly positioned, high up, so that the driver can go up and down the lines of vines trimming off the tendrils that are not required.
The cycling was blissful. We stopped off in a couple of tiny villages, and had morning tea beside a water fountain in an art commune.
Having reached Chateau Thierry we booked in for a tour of the old hospital (dating from the 1300s). At this point my school girl French was stretched to past breaking point, as the tour was in French. I could understand...about 1 word in 20, and possibly more when the guide was talking about subjects such as eating and ablutions! The Musee de l'Hotel-Dieu un Tresor was an eye-opening mix of exquisite embroidery and carving, along with interesting details such as (I think...translation allowing) nuns who were not allowed to wash, so had copious quantities of flowers and pot pourri around the place to mask the smell.