Sunday, June 5, 2011

Stepping Back in Time - Avallon, France

Where we are staying
Le Mas Des Lilas (Hotel)
How long? 1 night
How much? €64 per night (2 adults, 1 motorbike)
Check in? Not specified, but we will arrive around 5pm having already done a 6.5 hour ride and visited a castle.
Check out? Not specified. We have a 7 hour ride ahead of us, this being a pit stop on the way to Cherbourg for the ferry back to England. We’ll probably leave around 8am to get to Cherbourg by 5pm.
Why we chose it? Avallon is a picturesque town on our way from Nice to Cherbourg. We chose it because it's near this awesome castle we want to check out - and we're treating ourselves to a hotel!

What we want to see
This entire stop is about Guedelon Castle - not just any castle, but one that is still being built. A team of 50 people have taken on the challenge of building a 13th century style castle using the techniques and tools of medieval times. Construction started in 1997 and will likely take around 25 years to complete, with all materials sourced on site - an abandoned quarry. There are guided tours but these only occur if there are enough people and times vary. You basically just ask at the ticket booth when you arrive. Guided or not, they advise to allow 2 hours for your visit.
€9 Admission
Opening Hours vary but when we are there, they will be 10am-5.30pm Monday to Friday and 10am-6pm Saturday and Sunday. Closed Wednesdays, last admission an hour before close. 
Other than the castle, this short stop is about resting and preparing for our last big ride - the home stretch back to the coast before we take the ferry back to Bournemouth and return the bike.

What we are expecting

I'm expecting to be exhausted! The last week feels a lot more rushed than any other, even though we have 4 non-travel days in the last 8 of our trip. Maybe it's because there is a finish line, more so than at any point previously.

Besides this, I'm expecting a lovely, quiet, relaxing hotel. Clean, light and airy, a little bit quiet as the Summer winds down. I'm expecting Courtney to be in his element at Guedelon because he is fascinated by everything castle-y and medieval. I'm expecting Guedelon to be a no-frills kind of attraction, geared more towards the passion of the craft than exploiting the tourism dollar. What would you expect?