I spent some time in Tours, at the head of the Loire Valley, and was able to get in some biking and Chateau visits. I have now headed back to the east part of France (staying near Mulhouse for a few nights) and even took a day trip to Basel, Switzerland today. It is amazing how fast the architecture changed when I crossed the Swiss border. And, how fast the prices went up. Oh my, Switzerland is expensive!
However, I am going to have to work on a Plan B now. With the 4th wave of Covid hitting, France is adding new restrictions. As of this past Wednesday, to visit any museums, galleries, castles, and such; you are required to have a health pass (a "pass sanitaire") showing proof of vaccinations. And, that restriction will be extended to all shops, cafes, restaurants, groceries, etc. in early August.
The problem is that the health pass is only available to European Union residents and citizens. Paper vaccination cards like we have in the States don't work for this.
So, even though I can legally stay here, if I want to do anything like see an art museum, visit a castle, or...I don't know...eat; I will be out of luck.
So, for the rest of July, I will have to focus on outdoor activities. Which is more than okay. I enjoy the outdoors as much as the indoors. Plus, simply walking around these towns and cities lifts my spirits. And, I have the Vosges and Jura Mountains nearby to enjoy.
I am headed to Strasbourg on Tuesday to finish out the month because it is supposed to be the best city in France for biking.
And, for the month of August; I will likely head to Spain or Italy. I am still undecided. No worries though...this is definitely a first world problem to have!