Friday, 09 July 2004
High Gothic Ladies Bicycle Tour
CREDIT: © Prof. Jeffrey Howe/Boston College Fine Arts Department.
WHERE: Amiens & Chartres, France. WHAT: Tour de France & Gothic cathedrals.
MAP: France. Thumbnail  clicks/text  links pop-up source site images.
Stage 05 of the 2004 Tour de France ran over the 200 kilometers (125 miles) from Amiens to Chartres. Both of these towns possess fine High Gothic cathedrals, though sight seeing was probably the last thing on the bicycle racers minds as they battled heavy rain, high winds, and crashes. The Tour official report wryly noted, "…they just limped along, crashing occasionally and hoping to survive the dangerous conditions." We hope the writer recognizes that limping & crashing can be hard work.
Delights of the OLN TV [Outdoor Life Network] coverage of all three European Grand Tours [Giro d'Italia, Tour de France, and Vuelta a España] include the helicopter shots of the countryside in the host countries. TDF04.05 was no exception, and British commentators Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen flaunted their knowledge of architecture and history. From the Thais.it web site Gothic pages, we chose aerial views of the cathedrals in the start city of Amiens, and the finish city of Chartres.
We have no way of knowing how much Prof. Jeffery Howe knows about bicycle racing, but we suspect he probably knows rather more about architecture. His Boston College Digital Archive of Architecture provided us with the images of Notre Dame Amiens and Notre Dame Chartres. Chartres has its own  section, with sub sections for the  exterior,  sculpture,  interior, and stained  glass.
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Jules Laforgue (1860-1887)
"Ah! que la vie est quotidienne."
Oh, what a day-to-day business life is.
'Complainte sur certains ennuis' (1885)