Wednesday, 12 September 2018
'Summer in the Alps' - Day 48 - Saint-Claude to Troyes (pronounced 'Twa')
Another lovely day with wall to wall sunshine. We made the best of it despite a 190 mile drive.
Yet again we started slowly, leaving it until around 9.30 to leave Hotel Jura and wander down the road to the convenient Café des Touristes, into which we were encouraged to bring our croissants, sourced from a nearby boulangerie. It's great in France!
After a while we sprung into action and walked up to the 'Belvédère de l'Hermitage' and the belvedere 'Chaumont' to reach the Sainte-Anne Cave, about 2 km from the café. It was a bit like Thor's Cave in the Peak District, but easier to access. A rope dangled enticingly and clearly had we been able to get over the choke near the cave entrance there would have been more to explore.
On the way up, we noticed that the vegetation was covered with moths. They also covered the roof of the cave. That might have been the attraction for what appeared to be a lone bat with a taste for 'moth'.
Far below, a massive cemetery and the cathedral, with modern housing in the middle distance and the sounds of children playing mingling with the sound of motors. Quite a contrast to the relative silence, apart from the sound of bells, above Zermatt.
Just beside the cave is a receptacle carved into the stone, with water that is considered miraculous. Louis the 11th apparently drank some. We didn't have that level of bravery.
After walking back down and topping up with coffee we recommenced our road trip by travelling over the splendid Jura countryside. Lovely quiet roads through wonderful scenery with lakes and woodland.
I haven't mentioned temperatures for a while, but again today - as often on this trip - they were showing at over 30°C.
We scooted down a side road in search of a quiet spot for lunch and found ourselves passing twelve stations of the cross and arriving at the Mont Roland retreat. An ideal spot, with picnic tables and wide views over the rolling countryside.
Beyond Mont Roland the countryside looked pretty flat but it was actually quite crinkly, at least as far as the source of the River Seine, which we then followed most of the way to Troyes.
Our host, Ed, turned out to be a lady. She soon installed us in her town centre apartment, and by 6.30 we were strolling around the ancient pedestrianised streets of the old town.
Dinner at Felix's had been recommended by Ed, and it went down well. Booking was necessary. We sat next to a French family whose grandma seemed to prefer talking to us than to her own family.
Then it was a wander around the still vibrant streets before a not so early turning in.
We walked about 7 km, with 250 metres of ascent.
Sainte-Anne Cave entrance
View from Sainte-Anne Cave
Lunchtime view from Mont Roland
Old buildings in Troyes (2)