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Day 6: From Chartres to Montigny-le- Ganellon, 70 km

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

Today, we depart from Chartres heading towards Tours, and this evening, we will sleep in Montigny-le-Gannelon, a village in the Beauce region. It's Floky's birthday, and we want to find some ice cream during the day to celebrate it. Luckily, Floky and Google lead us towards a voie Verte (green way) right from the start, in the direction of Tours via Illiers. The landscapes continue to amaze us. This region is still rich agricultural land with freshly harvested wheat fields, swaying cornfields in the wind, and thousands of blushing sunflowers waiting to be processed into sunflower oil.

Today's ride is relatively short, around 60 to 65 km, and we are making good progress. We agree to take the time to visit a beautiful church with something special. A few kilometers later, we come across the Eglise De Meslay-le-Grenet, standing by the road, and the sign mentions "Peintures murales XVe siècle" (15th-century wall paintings). As with all the small churches we've encountered so far, it is locked. I walk to the nearby Mairie (town hall) and find out that we can request a guided tour from a lady, but we need to do so 24 hours in advance. Nonetheless, I decide to give her a call, and after two attempts, she answers. She kindly tells me that I can come to the square in front of the church to collect the key. Meanwhile, a family of five is also at the church, and with the seven of us, we can visit the church together.

Meslay-le-Grenet: Church, tbarrel vault , Erica with the keys

The entire church, which consists of two parallel naves, the second of which was added in the 16th century, is painted with frescoes that were discovered about a hundred years ago beneath a layer of plaster. It mainly depicts the Dance of Death, showing how death eventually comes for everyone, be it the pope, the king, the nobleman, the rich, or the poor and ordinary people. The church also has a beautiful wooden ribbed vault.

On one of the pillars between the two naves, I notice three carved faces of a "green man." A green man is a face from which leaves emerge, forming a complete decoration around it. They are often seen as embellishments on a corbel, capital, or keystone in churches and other buildings. It is almost always a human head, but green animals can also be found. Some believe it symbolizes the primal strength of man, while others see it as a symbol of nature's perpetual rebirth. Some think it may have originated from

Meslay-le-Grenet:Choir of the church and frescoes

After a thorough visit, I return the key to Erica and thank her, of course. Then, we continue to the village of Logon, where we have a picnic. We ride along the meanders of the picturesque Le Loir river and several other streams. Many trees and flowers adorn the bridges, creating idyllic scenes. By now, it's already 3 PM. We check if we can find a shop near our accommodation to buy something delicious for Floky. A young father tells us that with a detour of 10 km, we can find a Leclerc supermarket in St Denis-les-Ponts, and he's right. Around 5 PM, we arrive in the village of Montigny-le-Gannelon, a small, beautiful village with a castle and a church atop a hill. With a great effort, I make it up the hill, and we find our Relais de Montigny. It used to be a small restaurant and hotel with six rooms. Now, it's a Gîte where we rent a room, and we can also use the kitchen and the former restaurant area to prepare our meals. We have a lovely dinner in a beautiful setting.

Tomorrow morning, we'll continue cycling to Tours, the city of Saint Martin, a Roman commander who converted to Christianity and became the bishop of Tours. He is often depicted cutting his cloak in half to give one part to a poor man, who turns out to be Christ.

The Loir, church of Montigny-le-Gannelon, Dinner in Le relais de Montigny

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