We slept in late …aaah! We rested; we toured; we relaxed. Our bodies and souls needed this.
Then we got some breakfast and a coffee before heading out for some shoe, hiking pole tip, and grocery shopping. Allison’s shoes are wearing out and it is time for a replacement pair.
For all my fashionista friends and family out there, I apologize for my color choice now. The fluorescent yellow will clash with all my clothes colors. But I will have happy feet.
We walked around for a bit just relaxing in this pretty city. The city is surrounded on three sides by the Doub River with a mountain on the fourth side. It’s a natural stronghold.
Believe it or not we actually do spend some time planning our routes and lodging. So some of the afternoon was spent doing that along with eating ice cream. Because ice cream makes everything better! We even chatted with Judy and Mom for a few minutes.
Next up we made our way to the tourist office and got out pilgrim’s passport stamped. Then we decided to explore some of the sights in the city. We started with the Astronomical Clock which was closed. How you can close a clock I am not sure but it was closed. We also had a good laugh that the museum of time is also closed. And the huge modern clock on the front of the building is off by hours. They just do not build clocks to last these days, ha ha.
The last tourist spot on our rest day was the Citadel. This fortress was built during the reign of the sun King Louis IV by the famous architect Vauban. The Spanish actually captured it before it’s completion but after the French re-conquest it was completed and remained an active military sight until after WWII.
Inside is a zoo, a cultural museum and a museum of the resistance. This latter as well as the view was what I was really interested in seeing…but you guessed it, closed. They couldn’t close the view however, so we took some advice and waited in a long line for a seat at a cafe at the top. We had some highly overpriced wine and appetizers but enjoyed the sunset.
Tomorrow we have to begin the walk up this step hill again – this time with all our gear. It wasn’t a joy the first time…I suspect we will be a bit unhappy to start our morning. Haha.
But we have to get used to it. The day will be shorter but much steeper tomorrow. We climb about 2000’ if I recall correctly. Two thousand isn’t crazy, we’ve done twice that in a day…but the month of walking along flat ground has left our climbing muscles untested.
One last thought. Entering a city is weird. We look like pilgrims. We have backpacks and hiking sticks and (in my case) a funny looking hat. We smell, and we have weird tans. Pilgrims are out of place in cities. Our life is slow; cities are fast paced. Our life is simple; cities are complicated and full of rules. I feel so odd walking into a city and Besancon was no different. Cities are fun…and wonderfully convenient, but I will be glad to be out, into the fresh air, the quiet, and the peaceful. Somehow, I don’t belong here. But I enjoyed the visit.
P.S. After a long delay we’ve finally added a page that shows all of our lodging. For those that have asked, please see the spreadsheet link. Let me know if you’d like other information included. It’s a bit rough at the moment but I hope it is helpful.