The days have developed into a pattern:
Alarm goes of at 7am
Down for breakfast by 7.30
Roll out by 8.30
Stop for coffee after a couple of hours
Packed lunch around 1 pm
Arrive somewhere between 4 and 6 pm
Have some beer (or Magnum)
Sort out digs and do some washing (drying not easy due to lack of time), blog/shower, do some stretching and attend to aches and pains before having a quick look around outside and then taking dinner at around 8
Read a few chapters of David Millar's autobiography before...
Today tho is different. Our destination the previous day, and has been all along (and why we have veered so far east) was Oradour-Sur-Glane (OSG). So this morning we took some time to look around the 'Village Martyrs' (pictured).
On 10 June 1944 - a few days after the Allied invasion of Normandy - the local commander of the Waffen SS chose to destroy completely the sleepy village of OSG. All of the inhabitants, almost 700 of them, were gathered together inside two buildings (400 women and children were herded inside the church, the men inside another building). There they were machine gunned down and then the buildings were set alight.
Escapees from the windows were shot and the other buildings were systematically burned too.
It's not sure why this happened.
After the war the decision was made to leave the village, as a memorial, exactly as it was on that horrendous summer's day in 1944. Today the remains of the village is open everyday to visitors. There's also an information centre and commemorative monument.
Its a haunting place and impossible to understand.
A new town of OSG has been built, a short distance from the deserted one.
We left Oradour and cycled south into the northern part of the Dordogne. We covered around 50 miles and arrived at the historic town of Nontron.
This bits for my dear Jenny (who has complained about the lack of any interesting facts about the local area on my blogs) - Since the first settlements around 1,000 years ago, it's been invaded by the Saracens, Normans, Romans (and, more recently, by the looks of it, Brits with their liking for second homes). Nontron is in the heart of the Perigord Limousin's regional Natural Park. A wonderful place to enjoy forest walks and guided tours of old Nontron provided by the local tourist information office. (OK Jen?)
Back to the ride - The scenery has changed quite a lot. The arable land has been replaced by rolling hills, forests and numerous small lakes. Today we rode very well and are getting stronger (legs like tree trunks soon?) For around 20 miles of rolling roads today we were really 'on the rivets' as they say.
It was sunny! And the wind has stopped!