After an early frost the sun soon made the morning very pleasant, perfect for our monthly Sunday walk led by Chris. Our aim was to follow part of the trail, the running race planned for March 19th which is to start in Cortambert.
We parked at the Moulin de Culey and headed up the hill. At 6.5km this walk did not sound to be very far but the ascent is quite tough in places. I can’t imagine how fit you must be to run up Mont Saint Romain and back to Cortambert.
and our group setting off
This fallen tree will have to be moved before the trail
Almost finished, at the lavoir at Culey
Hopefully the weather will be good for March 19th for the big event. You can find further details about the trail de Mont Saint Romain on the website trail-mont-saint-romain.fr
To borrow a quote the Queen’s speech in 1992, 2016 “is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure. It turned out to be an ‘Annus Horribilis’. I suspect that I am not alone in thinking it so”.
This photo of Benedict sums it up for me.
Benedict - life can’t be that bad?
I for one won’t be sorry to see the back of 2016. Let’s hope that 2017 is a better year with no more illness and no more accidents (Anne Marie!). Let’s hope Chris’s mum gets better from her stroke and Chris has a good trip back to England to see her.
Happy New Year !
The day after the randonée I flew off to Glasgow to look after the infants while their mother was working away. I thought the pilot had veered off course and landed on some tropical island as we arrived to sunshine and a humid 28°. While it had been pouring in France it had been fine weather in Scotland.
I was left a timetable of the girls’ activities. Afterschool club Monday and Tuesday, swimming Wednesday, French lesson for Jo, music lesson for Maggie… Chess for Maggie with a Russian grandmaster. (Jo isn’t bad at chess either but I can still beat her). Although the girls are at school all day with their friends they still like to play together on the way home. Then Saturday afternoon it’s party time, it’s always someone’s birthday. Sunday morning more swimming and to Church for Sunday school. It’s an exhausting schedule and I’m just watching!
On Wednesday it was the school sports day. It was wonderful weather and lots of mums & dads turned out to cheer the children on. As Glaswegians are unaccustomed to the sun there were plenty of pink shoulders by the end of the afternoon.
Jo racing well…
and showing off her winning stickers
Maggie with the egg and spoon
The highlight of the week was meeting up with the family in Falkirk to see the Kelpies on Sunday afternoon. The Kelpies are a couple of 30m high statues of horses recently constructed by the new extension to the Forth & Clyde Canal. They represent the horse powered heritage of Scotland.
Approaching The Kelpies
Close up they are enormous
The Kelpies are set in The Helix which is a huge parkland project with a new playpark which is meant for children and adults alike.
A good push for the rope swing
Jo and Maggie
I enjoyed my time in Glasgow but it was good to touch down in Lyon and return to more restful life in France.
Landing at Lyon (photo Chris)
We’ve often taken the Salornay road out of Cluny and noticed, up on the left, a picturesque hilltop village dominated by a church with a tall spire. Needing a walk this afternoon we went to have a look. It’s La Vineuse, one of those villages we often read about in the local paper but don’t quite know where they are.
We parked at the church. It’s closed on Sundays (!) so we couldn’t go in but there was a lot of information to be gleaned from the boards at the viewpoint behind the church.
The church with a view
The area was settled during Roman times, and there are still the remains of a camp to the south. In those days the village was called Fenestracum, meaning ‘the window with a wide view’. Later, because of the extensive vineyards, it was known as Vinosa Villa Sainte Marie des Vignes, not surprisingly simplified to La Vineuse.
The church is 11th century and is noted for its 3-tiered belltower and original chapel. Opposite the church is the tithe barn where, until the revolution of 1789, the peasants had to bring a tenth of their crops to be shared between the priest of La Vineuse and the chapel of St Vincent in Mâcon.
In 1939 a pot of 8760 Roman coins was found, now displayed in the National Library in Paris. The following year another 7150 coins turned up in an amphora. Apparently these are still in La Vineuse, at the Mairie. I wonder if we might be able to see them sometime?
The walks around La Vineuse were well waymarked. We chose the shortest circuit as it was a raw afternoon. We saw our first lambs of the year, a barn full of cattle and lots of chickens running over the road and in the fields. But no people nor any signs of human activity. The population of La Vineuse was 293 at the last count but where were they? Abduction by aliens or rural France on a Sunday afternoon? And for that matter in a place named for its vineyards. we didn’t see any of them either.