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May 18th 2015
Published: June 6th 2015
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We are dropped right in it. La belle France that is.

In lots of other foreign lands, such as in north America or in more developed parts of south east Asia , the cities and towns don’t offer such an architectural challenge to the eyes. Here in Sens and in the whole of central France it seems all the buildings – not just a majority of 90%!a(MISSING)re at least pre colonial.

Walking through the narrow streets – well you could ride a velocipede- but even those little electric cars wont go down many la rues - what do I see? Something that might be out of a pre Napoleon era mansion next to a Tudor looking building alongside a colonial era house – appropriately adorned with detailed stone masonry, elaborate wood carvings , modern 17th century timber shutters.

Some buildings are stone others are timber, some have masonry rendering. Most have chunky rural looking wooden doors and windows. The exteriors of all buildings might do with a visit from the Dulux man. Behind the rustic unloved exterior lies well kept and beautifully decorated interiors of timber, plastered whatever, granite, marble and local quarry stone.

Pavements are generally cobbled. In a week there I do not recall traversing a single straight street. Why are they all bent? Or what is the fascination with straight lines? Maybe the bend was put there as a type of pre combustion engine street calming. To stop local hoons from galloping their horses and racing their buggies too fast as they sought speed of steed to exhilarate their egos and gain admiration from the petite fille.

Its not just gastronomic for the eyes. In the mornings we enjoyed a walk in the brisk air followed by cafe et croissant. Little bakery opposite the Sens Cathederal serves coffee and croissant for E1.60. The only place on the trip so far that makes coffee as strong, and hot and as good as I do at home. Maybe even better.

There’s a market on in the Halle opposite the Cathederal some days.

By the heck food here is good. Woolies and Coles seem to try to have perfect looking fruit and in the process taste comes in a poor second. Here taste is nombre une – looks can be ok also.

More about food another time.

There’s a huge ring road around the centre of Sens. Its probably a 15th century double lane highway – so 2 lanes in each direction with a wide park ( say 50 meters) between the clockwise and anti clockwise roadways. Large trees in the middle and on the edges of that road. Gardens in the middle part are starting to flower. In the evenings and at the weekend people come out to promenade and to lie down, play or sit in the park area. One end of the ring road is bound by Yonne river – which splits to form an island. So there are two sets of bridges going from say the railway station to the city.

It could be said that we like Sens very much.

We were delayed a little by some bungling, autocratic procedures, and misdirection by the place that holds our money – AKA NAB. In fact they got so attached to our money they did everything in their power to prevent us from getting some of it to pay fro Skippy.

So we were delayed for 3 or 4 days straddling a weekend. Someone suggested we go to Paris for the weekend. It seemed like a good idea, as Paris was not really on our itinerary – so why not go there. But when we thought a little, why leave Sens. So much character and history and honest provincial flamboyance right here in Sens – a little place no one much has ever hear of . But now almost a home away from home for us.


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