Across Continents

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Postcard from Troyes

Troyes cathedral’s exterior was enjoying a deep clean. Looked like they’d be there for a while so I left them to it. I headed deeper into the city. Gleaming modern shop fronts on old timber framed buildings. I thought 1700s. Some familiar high street names. Lots of attractive looking eateries. A smart county town, Cheltenham perhaps.

The lady at the campsite had explained that many visitors came to see the architecture. I’d come for the shopping. I felt purposeful but must have looked lost. It wasn’t as if I’d inadvertently strayed into the lingerie section of one department store, but almost immediately I was intercepted by a very polite assistant. It had been the same the day before. Happily concluding a long but satisfying day following the river Seine, a fellow cyclist appeared alongside. Having explained my destination that evening, he insisted on guiding me there, quite some distance away.

Purchases completed, I decided to explore a little more. I suspect it doesn’t feature on any of the guided walks around the city, but the Municipal Police station is one of the most beautiful buildings of its type I’ve ever seen. A fine timber framed affair, with a few bars added to the lower windows. I’d have taken a photograph but knowing how touchy these law enforcement types can be, decided that probably wasn’t wise. I wasn’t that keen on a look around inside.

There seem to be quite a few police forces in France – municipal, national, and then the Gendamarie. I think secretly everyone wants to be in the latter. Smarter uniforms and bigger cars. Public service workers love their combat style trousers, plain with a reflective band around each leg, be they the long arm of the law or refuse collectors. You just have to remember one’s armed. They’re very keen on recycling.

Suitably replenished I returned to the campsite on the outskirts. A mix of English, German, Dutch and the French, all mixed in together. We were much closer to Strasbourg than before. I had enjoyed France but sight of the Seine had got me thinking more and more about the Danube. Germany was beckoning.

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3 responses to “Postcard from Troyes”

  1. Neill Verdoorn says:

    Enjoyed your ‘postcard’. Not a lot happening in Fitzhead – a very large tractor knocked down part of the stone wall at Lantern House. Good wishes to you.

  2. pete sellers says:

    Well Ken good to see you have nearly finished with France and the next country beckons. From the blogs I reckion you have eaten your way through the country, so you will have fond memories in some of the countries that lie ahead. Enjoy Germany but at your speed stay off the autobahns and don’t buy any of those dodgy leather shorts and braces for cycling in – its not big an dits not clever.

  3. Adam Udall says:

    Hello Ken.I hope you are well.I am really enjoying reading your blogs.Stay safe.Kind regards,Adam.(the painter)

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