Days 55 & 56 – into Switzerland and on to Paris

Having spent an enjoyable few  days with Abi & Guy in the Italian Lakes it was time to start our journey home together with our tandem currently packed away in its two bags plus our various additional panniers and bags.

Abi, Guy and Molly beside the motirhome in Martigny

Abi & Guy needed to get to work on the Monday so we decided that it was best we headed for Martigny in Switzerland, which was on their route to Morzine This small town had the benefit of swift and convenient direct train service to Lausanne  (also in Switzerland) from where we were able to take the TGV train to Paris, together with our packed up tandem and various bags. A total of 11 pieces to keep track of.

True to form, the Swiss train service to Lausanne arrived on time, and departed exactly three minutes later, arriving exactly on time in Lausanne.

The route to Lausanne was very pretty and skirted the northern bank of Lac Genéve where there were attractive views of the French Alps to the south behind Evians Les Bains which is the spa resort on the lakeside of what the French call Lac Leman.

We had a decent amount of time before our TGV direct train to Paris was due to leave, so we were able to move all of our bags to the correct platform and be in position ready to board.

We had booked seats on the upper deck of the double decker train, having been informed by the Man in Seat 61 website that this was the best way to make the journey and would give the best opportunity of a good view of the attractive countryside we passed through en route.

Arriving in Paris Gare de Lyon on time, we then had to re-assemble our tandem on the arrival platform in between train arrivals and departures with curious passengers looking on. About 75 minutes later we were all loaded up and we wheeled our steed out of the station to be on the road to head for our Warmshowers host Alexis who had offered to put us up for the night. He and his wife Valentine live with their baby in Meudon, a suburb of Paris situated around 15km to the west.

Riding in the centre of Paris was surprisingly easy and unstressful, apart from the odd occasion when a red light was missed or there wss a “déviation’! Like the Italians, French drivers are amazingly forgiving to pedal powered people, generally giving us a decent passing space as they overtook us.

Just before we reached our hosts for the night we had to climb a sharp hill for about 1km and we reached Alexis’s home rather puffed and hot and sweaty. Their flat was on 3rd floor, so by the time we eventually sat down and relaxed we’d had a real workout. Our warmshowers on offer were very welcome.

Bizarrely, we were invited to order an Indian takeaway which our hosts Alexis and Valentine were thinking of ordering for dinner, so we added our choices from the menu, recognising familiar names of dishes offered on the french language menu..

Having eaten and exchanged many travellers’ tales we settled down for a good night’s sleep to be ready for the ride out of the urban area of Paris situated on the Seine to the west.


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