Post by French Mystique Tours on May 10, 2011 21:02:33 GMT 1
A bike tour in Paris is great but a bike tour day trip from Paris to go biking in the French countryside is a good choice too. I like doing bike tours in Paris as much as I like doing bike tours as day trips from Paris to go biking in the French countryside. We'll start the day by biking in Paris on our way to the train station. Our first destination is the pleasant small city of Melun. While it's not the same as biking in Paris its geographic characteristics remind the visitor of Paris as the city is bisected by the Seine river and features a prominent island between the two riverbanks. Archaeological work has revealed the presence of a moderately sized Gallo-Roman settlement and some of the vestiges are displayed publicly or in the local museums. It was of some importance in medieval times and under Phillip the Fair it was the second seat of royal power, although it had been a seat of royal power since the Capetian dynasty. Like most other cities of this era it was also fortified by ramparts whose construction dates to the late 12th century. Also similar to Paris there were 3 important fortified areas, one on each riverbank and the third being the fortified island. Some portions of the ramparts still remain but other monuments, such as the château and some abbeys, no longer remain. There are still traces of medieval times in the form of 2 gothic churches, ruins of an abbey and the street layout in the old downtown. Its importance from the middle ages and onward was due to its function as a supplier of flour to Paris. It was also home to Nicolas Foquet during the construction of the nearby château Vaux-le-Vicomte and was briefly residence to Paul Cézanne, who painted a few well known works during his stay here. The interesting part of the city is still the old downtown so let's ride around there and have a look at things.