2003 Tour de France Trip  ----  Travel from Paris to Aix-les-Bains

The plan for today was to leave the Hotel Ibis Porte de Clichy at 08:30 and watch the stage finish in Lyon.  After breakfast we looked outside where eight to ten Graham Baxter buses were parked and about 300 people with bikes and luggage preparing to board.  It was the first cluster of the day.   We were on the road about 10:30 and the Lyon Finish was looking bleak.   We encountered  a detour due to a major traffic accident on the motorway and a stop for lunch.  We reached a small town near Lyon around 5:00 PM and watched the finish in a bar.   No one seemed to mind as there were no definite plans to watch in Lyon.  We all knew there would be many days ahead to watch the race.

Here is some of our group waiting to leave for Lyon and Aix-les-Bains.

This is where we watched stage six on the TV.  There are about 50 people in the bar.

We arrived at our first hotel, the  Hotel Astoria in Aix-les-Bains.   On Graham's trips you always stay in a variety of hotels.  Some very traditional French places, some chains, and some combinations.   They are usually three star or better.   The Hotel Astoria was probably the best place we stayed at.   Traditional French old building, large rooms, great food, and an excellent location in the center of a small town.    After dinner we walked around and explored the  town.  Tomorrow the Tour de France was entering the Alps and it would be our first day of cycling.

Hotel Astoria in Aix-les-Bains

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