Day 5, Thomrey to Sens - 58.5 kilometers
Route - Very easy flat riding through small villages on low to no traffic roads. Directions: Cross the bridge east at Thomrey onto the D 110, Turn right and follow the signs to Montereau. Take the D 18 east from Montereau towards Courcelles, turn south on the road to Barbey and then follow the D29 through the small villages of Misy, Vinneuf, Courlon, Serbonnes, Michery, Gisy, Evry and Clement to Sens.
We awoke early after having gone to bed before 9:30 the night before. Madame Bader had breakfast ready, this was much better than the hostel breakfast. She had wholesome country breads, croissants, jam, tea, coffee and juice ready for us at the kitchen table. She was concerned since the weather didn't look good. We told her we were equipped with rain gear and loaded up the bikes after breakfast in a very light drizzle. We rode through the village and crossed the bridge to the D 110 to Montereau in short order. The rain had stopped in the mean time and we shed our rain gear.
By the time we reached Montereau we were ready for lunch. We stopped at one place but were told they were full, (there seems to be no "waiting" at French cafes. Once full, they send you away to find another place, probably because the French pride themselves in not hurrying their guests once at a table.) and so we rode back across the river where we were found a great little cafe. We went inside just as the skies opened up and it poured for twenty minutes.
The lunch was another French masterpiece. We were getting worried. It was becoming apparent that we weren't going to loose any weight on this trip. In fact, we'd have to guard against gaining some! Lunch over, we climbed back on the bikes and continued on. The rain had stopped and the sun was struggling hard to break through the cloud cover. By the time we reached the first of the small towns we would be riding through, the sky was nothing but puffs of white clouds and bright sun.
We rode through one small village after another, each seemed almost deserted. We stopped at one Tabac store to buy some soft drinks and leaned our bikes up against one of the houses lining the sidewalk. The window opened and an old man stuck his head out and yelled something in French to us, making it clear that we were not welcome to lean our bikes on his house. We moved the bikes, bought some Coke Lights and continued on our way.
Sens is a medium sized city and brags of having the first of the Gothic cathedrals, built in the early 1100's. We rolled into town and located our rooms for the night, the Hotel Brennus. The door was locked with a note saying the management would return at 3:00. We chained our bikes inside the courtyard to the wrought iron fence and walked to the town square to visit the cathedral and see the sights. We enjoyed the visit and even walked through the cathedral's museum. While walking, we scouted where we would have dinner and Jeanette picked out a small cafe that featured pasta on a side street, the Bosa Restaurant .
When we returned to the hotel the desk was open. We checked in and stored the bikes under the stairs. We cleaned up and watched the Tour De France on TV. Thomas Volker was in the lead but Lance wasn't far behind. We went to dinner around seven and afterwards again walked the town square, this time buying ice cream for dessert before heading back to our room. It had been a great first day of touring.