This is really going to happen.
My wife and I are bursting with excitement. I am a bit nervous with all of the planning and booking and planning, but it is going to be an actual reality in about two weeks! The basic plan is to land in Paris where we will spend three days. From there we will take a hop to Lyon where we will pick up our rental car and pick up the tour in Brioude. We will follow the Tour all the way to Toulouse, and from there it is off to Rome where we will spend three days before returning home.
There are some things that I cannot find a solid answer:
- Laundry . . . although there are many laundry mats in France and Italy, I am concerned with having to sit around a laundry mat to keep someone from stealing my clothes.
- Bike tours in the main cities (Rome and Paris) . . . yes, the e-bike tours where people show you the main attractions of the city. I have planned so much that I do not feel like trying to plan within a plan when it comes to taking a bus or metro from one place to the next when someone has already done that for us. I am thinking it could be a time-saver, and we could then return to the place(s) that most interested us.
- Paying for international use of cell phone . . . Verizon charges $10 per day per line. I was considering just doing one of our phones for an emergency. I keep finding conflicting advice.
- From Brioude to Toulouse . . . we have rented bikes that will be delivered to our apartment the day before the Tour comes into Brioude. I have poured over the routes and know them fairly well, but here is the dilemma: Seeing the riders and experiencing the Tour while at the same time getting to ride some of the places I have always dreamed about. I did find a tiny little article that said that the roads stay closed an hour after the riders pass to allow for people to ride, but that sounds far fetched.
- Jet lag . . . we lived in Europe from 1990 to 1992, but we have forgotten most of what we learned about dealing with jet lag. The latest advice I have received was to immediately take a nap when I arrive in Paris, get up, shower, and go out. I also read the opposite: take a sleep-aide on the plane, and when we arrive just go and do not stop until bedtime in Paris.
I know there are many out there who travel faaaaaar more often than my wife and I do, like The Drunken Cyclist and View from the Back (two good ones to follow) and would know the ins and outs. I know that it may appear as though I am too annal when it comes to planning, but we are very flexible. We just want a solid skeleton in framework. As far as planning now, we are down to the fine honing of the blade.