Inside, we found Ameyric Le Brun, one of the two owners of the plant (the other, Eric Sakalowsky, lives in Philadelphia!), and he graciously gave us the tour, that had been promised to Matthew when he bought his bike.
As Ameyric explained, the whole process begins with tubes -- either aluminium or carbon-fiber -- which are manufactured in Taiwan (the world center, as it turns out, for most of the cycling industry's carbon-fiber materials). Once they arrive at the factory, they are cut and shaped for the various models that Cyfac builds.
Matthew carefully examined one such tube...
...and then met the resident designer, Fabien, who, smiling shyly, posed for a photo.
In room after room, we saw the same meticulous attention being paid, whether in the "wrapping" process...
...or in the delicate touch-up of a decal.
Suddenly, Matthew's own Cyfac "Gothica" took on a whole new persona -- these same people we were meeting in La Fuye had built it, mostly by hand, and here it is, living in Inverness, being ridden through the hills and dales of West Marin. Amazing!
In 1906, the castle was bought by Joachim Carvallo, a Spaniard, who devoted himself to restoring Villandry to its original Renaissance splendor.
Other gardens within the Chateau grounds provided a simple, tranquil aspect of still water, and swans drifting back and forth.
In some quiet corners, brilliant colors flashed out at us -- this iris type flower...
...and this opulent opium poppy.
...and gardens designed by LeNotre, of Versailles fame.
Inside the chateau, opulent tapestries hang from the walls, early examples of the finest that the weavers of Holland produced.
And in an effort to bring some of the rooms to life, "mannequin" models take their places amidst the furnishings, dressed mostly in late 19th century gowns.
The castle has been owned by the Count de Blacas family since the 1880s, and, indeed, some members of the family still live there, although none were to be seen in these rooms!
Tomorrow is a national holiday here in France - Easter Monday. We'll be having a family lunch with Juliette and Sean and family -- roast leg of lamb, apple pie, and our Chinon wine. Bon Appetit!