The Dutch Have it Right!

Anybody who knows me, knows that I am nuts for bicycles.  And, traveling to the Netherlands a few years ago convinced me of that even more.  Now, my online reading often consists of visiting Dutch and Danish cycling sites including

The following is an absolutely fabulous video about cycling in the Netherlands and how they have created an education foundation because they are always being asked for information on how other countries can make the same changes the Dutch have.

Watch the short 7 minute video and see what I mean.

Cycling For Everyone from Dutch Cycling Embassy on Vimeo.

Five Chateaux in France

I really enjoy reading  It is a travel blog that focuses almost exclusively on travel to Paris and Italy.

I just came across a post written by a guest author by the name of Molly. The article was of particular interest to me, because our trip this summer is going to take us to the Loire Valley chateaux country.

Since there are so many in the area, we have been wondering which ones to see and which we could skip.  This article really helps to narrow it down a bit.

Five Chateaux in France

The author discusses:
Chateau Chambord

As Molly puts it: "Hidden in the center of a forest is the Chateau Chambord. If you close your eyes for a moment and envision what your idea might be for a house only occupied for the occasional nights stay or whose primary use would be as a hunting lodge – a castle with 440 rooms, 84 staircases, and 365 fireplaces would certainly not be what most people would have in mind. Yet, this was the structure that filled the desires of King Francois I. For a hunting lodge, it is the largest Chateau in the Loire Valley."

This is definitely one of the chateaux that we definitely have in our plans.  Jodi has spent a lot of time looking it over already

Chateau d’ Usse

This is one that we have overlooked I think.  I looks terribly interesting, and looks as if it could be a castle from a number of fairytales. 

Chateau Villandry

Molly says that it is not the beauty of the chateau’s design that draws people here, but the gardens surrounding it. The chateau is impressive it seems, but apparently its French mosaic gardens are the main draw.

Chateau Chaumont

Chaumont is supposed to be one of the oldest chateau’s in the Loire Valley.

Chateau Versailles

And, of course, you can't talk of chateaux in France without including the palace at Versailles. Most people are aware of Versailles and its beauty.

Versailles is not in the Loire, but it certainly can't be left off this list.

To read Molly's full article,  visit

Written by Photo Credits : MACSURACK / ell brown / cookipediachef / aschaf / CpaKmoi - Bicycle Culture by Design: Bicycle Infrastructure 'n Stuff in Paris & Bordeaux - Bicycle Culture by Design: Bicycle Infrastructure 'n Stuff in Paris & Bordeaux

Two of my favorite topics. France and cycling. More to the point bike infrastructure and how the French are adding more and more bike lanes to go along with their city wide cycle sharing programs. The bikes, in some cases are allowed to travel two ways on one way streets, and cars are required follow an even lower speed limit.

It's interesting to note that the larger the vehicle the more responsibility that the driver has to take care of smaller vehicles and pedestrians. Seems we have that a bit backward here.

Many of the cities in France, throughout Europe actually are adopting bike share programs. When we were in Rouen, France we were able to see theirs up close and personal.  Really doesn't work to well for me as the bikes, like most, don't adjust well enough to fit my frame.
Another step closer.  Today my new passport arrived.  Surprised me as it only took 3 weeks to get it.  When ordering it they say to expect at least a six week wait time.  Nice to have this out of the way.

So, passport? Check!
Airline tickets? Check!
Hotels and B and B's? Check!
Car rental? Nope!
Train? Nope!
But, they are on the agenda.


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