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Published: August 4th 2017
Entry into the town
Over breakfast we have a wonderful chat with our hosts, Ric and Fer. We cover a wide range of topics such as wildlife, travels, education, weather, and the local history. Maria’s eggs were delivered for breakfast, what a delight. We say our goodbyes and explore the local town. The 1914-18 war was unkind to the château and surrounding town. Much of it was destroyed. Ric and Fer’s house was built in the 1920s.
On the recommendation of our hosts we detour to the small town of Blerancourt about 15 kms away. There use to be a large château in the town but over time, especially during the French Revolution, much of it was destroyed. In the 1920s what was left was purchased by an American woman, Anne Morgan, who set up a trust and museum to further Franco-American cooperation. She spent a lot of time during the war helping the hospital service by driving ambulances. After the war she organized a programme to help the local people re-establish their farms, provide furniture and other household necessities. The museum illustrates how the Americans and French have worked together over many years, from the American War of Independence to the present day.
The museum is well set out but our time was limited and one exhibition room was closed. More time was needed to appreciate the works on display. We were amazed that a museum of this stature could be found in this small town.
We are pleased we followed up on the suggestion of Ric and Fer to visit this museum, reopened a few weeks ago having been closed for some years. Perhaps the tour buses will start rolling through this quiet town and call in for a museum visit on their way to the Channel or WWI battlefields. Our journey continues through vast areas of agricultural countryside with hardly a car in sight. So much for a busy weekend in France.
After a few hours of driving across the rolling yellow countryside we stop awhile in Mery-sur-Seine. This would be an ideal time for an ice cream. It is hot and sunny. Ideal weather for such a cool delight. By chance we find a 7/7 shop open. We go in, the alarm goes indicating our presence, we walk the shop looking for an ice cream. No one appears to assist us. This must be a shop lifters’ dream
location. We leave empty handed without seeing anyone. We walk the streets for some exercise. There is no one around. We cross the Seine River and wander back to the car. The town is empty. The shop keeper was obviously confident no one would turn up with the intention of helping themselves. Perhaps everyone has headed north for a summer at the beach.
We only have an hour of driving left to reach our destination, Troyes. The reason for staying in Troyes was to give us a restful place to conclude our wonderful trip before returning the car to Paris. Troyes is also a very historic town. Maybe after three days of relaxation we’ll find out how historic it is. The approach to the city takes us through new developments. The road leading to the city centre is attractive with plantings, sculptures, fountains and pedestrian areas. Jane guides us to our destination to perfection. We drive into a demolition site. Not quite what we expected. As we approach reception we listen to the sound of running water. We check in and learn that the site was once a cloth factory and is being converted into a residence for a
The castle walls.
mix of people. The elderly live in one section, young people have apartments in another area, and guests like us stay in the appart’hotel. Below and around the apartment flows the Seine River on its way to Paris and the sea. The building opened in February and is a new concept in urban renewal. We will be very comfortable in our spacious apartment. Tomorrow rest and sightseeing, weather permitting.
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