Day 1 – Saint Nazaire to Ancencis

Today was the official start of our adventure across Europe from Saint-Nazaire to Constanta.  We stayed last night at the Holiday Inn Express in Saint’-Nazaire which is just a few hundred yards from the mouth of the river Loire. We decided before setting out to take our bikes to the coast to dip our tyres in the Atlantic. Unfortunately, the tide was out so this was not possible so we made do with an official photograph commemorating the official start of our trip.

In the ideal world we would have crossed the large expansion bridge at Saint Nazaire to pick up the start of Eurovelo6 path but cyclist are not allowed on the bridge so instead we followed a route that kept us to the north side of the river Loire.
The ride out of Saint-Nazaire was not particularly pleasant and we were amazed just how far the outskirts of the town stretched. However after about 45 minutes we were back in small country lanes enjoying the warmth of the spring sunshine
The roads were very quiet and we ambled along at a steady pace.  Kris was riding an electric bike which would take her as far as Basel so we were conscious of just how far the battery charge would last on our planned 70+ mile route today.  We need not have worried because she made it to Ancenis with some 30km’s still available.
At around half way we had our first sitting of the river Loire, which at this stage of its life was quite wide and we stopped for a quick photo opportunity.
We then had to pass through the city of Nantes which took us the best part of an hour to navigate and there were many strange pedestrian and cycle ways to negotiate which all added to our time on the road.
Once the other side of Nantes we had around 25 miles to reach our destination for the day at Ancenis and this was primarily on dedicated cycle paths that followed the banks of the river Loire.
We eventually reached the ibis hotel in Ancenis just after 17:00 after a long day on the road. A quick shower followed by a beer at the hotel bar and then we walked across the road to a small restaurant for a snack type evening meal.
It was good to get the first day of our Eurovelo trip under our belts.