(There are little route markers on the ground marking the way)
We’re still here in the car park of the pretty town and today after coffee I went to visit the tourist office. We had seen signs describing different buildings as we walked to and from the van and I wondered if there might be a walking tour booklet. There was… two in fact. I choose the Between Vineyards and Orchards Route and set off with my camera.
(Here’s the house where Napoleon slept on the 9th of February 1814)
That’s when I realised we were staying in a very prestigious area. Napoleon himself stayed just across the square from our parking spot, if I lean out the front driver’s window I can see the front door. It was a long time ago but as they say, if it’s good enough for Napoleon… The tour then took me up a hill and outside the town and into some Champagne vineyards with lovely views.
(View from the vineyards)
I was completely on my own up there with just some small animal rustling coming from a forest of trees beside the path. I’d like to think squirrels. In case it was something less sweet I kept walking and came to the orchard section of the route. These were small apple groves behind fences. One of the trees had a ladder leaning against it, I suppose it’s harvest time but there was no one about.
(This healthy looking plant is making Champagne juice!)
Then the route took me back into town via a narrow passageway between two houses leading to a lane with a tiny canal that had been built in the Middle Ages to divert water from the river Le Grand Morin that flows outside the town, in order to power flour mills. Canal is probably the wrong word for it, it is probably only two foot wide where I saw it but I checked out Google Maps and it was long, well, long to have been dug out by hand (probably.)
(The friendly lady and the Comte’s house)
By now it was close to noon and getting hot so I found some shade. I was waiting trying to cool down when a friendly lady passing asked me if I was looking for something. In French. I explained (in French) that I was doing a great tour of the town and she pointed out that the house I was standing in front of was the birthplace of the Comte de Orleans. So I took a picture of the house with the friendly lady standing in front of it to mark the occasion when I had an interesting conversation in French!
(The vineyards stretch into the next village)
No, unfortunately I do not know who the Comte of Orleans is, he wasn’t mentioned in my guide but that’s not the important bit…