Well, after much back and forth between Nathan and me, including the creation and documentation of at least 5 different options, we have an itinerary that is fairly cast in stone. We've even made hotel reservations for those days that were previously up in the air, so we are pretty well set.
Here is the plan:
- Friday, 7/13: Arrive in Paris, rent a car and drive to Tours. We'll have the afternoon and evening in Tours, but we'll probably take it easy as we'll be recovering from the flight.
- Saturday, 7/14: Bastille Day in the Loire Valley. We'll do some sightseeing, most likely taking in some chateaux and the Tours Cathedral.
- Sunday, 7/15: Morning in the Loire Valley again, then travel to Toulouse. We will probably go through Poitiers and see some historic sites there on the way.
- Monday, 7/16: Get up early and travel to Pau to see the end of Stage 15. After that, head to Bagneres-de-Luchon and check into our apartment.
- Tuesday, 7/17: Explore the Pyrenees. Rest day for the Tour.
- Wednesday, 7/18: Up early to see Stage 16. We will either travel to the Col du Tourmalet (HC) or the Col de Peyresourde (Cat 1) depending on a) how early we get up and b) how lucky we feel. The Peyresourde is very close and the last col on this stage, so obviously it has some advantages. On the other hand, the Col du Tourmalet is the Col du Tourmalet. We'll probably ask around in town and see what people recommend.
- Thursday, 7/19: Up early to see Stage 17. We will pack up in the morning and head either to the finish at Peyragudes (Cat 1) or to the Port de Bales (HC). After the Tour goes by, we are going to saddle up and drive to Paris, assuming it's not super late to start. As a backup plan, we will go back to our apartment in Bagneres-de-Luchon (which we have for a full week).
- Friday 7/20: Free day in Paris.
- Saturday, 7/21: Free day in Paris, or if we just have to have more Tour, we will somehow get ourselves down to Chartres for the Stage 19 individual time trial.
- Sunday, 7/22: See Stage 20, the finish on the Champs-Elysees. Afterwards, hang out in Paris.
- Monday, 7/23: Free day in Paris.
- Tuesday, 7/24: Fly home.