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Le Train des Pignes...day two...
I had hopes this day would go better hiking wise that the previous one...
When I was checking in to the hotel I saw this really neat picture on the wall. It was a rock "wall" of ammonites (fossilized nautilus shells) and I saw that it was located in Digne. The hotel owner showed me on a map where it was located, a Musee Promenade, which looked to be 30min away on foot, and opened at 9 am...
Office of Tourism Digne-les-Bains
Click on the pictures for a larger version.
|Catherdrale St Jerome. The framework bell tower is apparently common in this area. They have a stong wind in this part of France called the "Mistral". This kind of tower survives the wind better. This was taken the corner of Place General de Gaulle and Blvd Victor Hugo... but that address could be in probably 100 towns in France...|
|Ok, so I arrived early at the Musee Promenade. The gate was open, so I went on to the grounds to discover a bizzarre set of well..."art". Apparently piping water around and letting moss grow counts for art...|
|This would be cool... if it wasn't man made.|
|So on the signs around the "art" there is a map of a trail to the ammonites... so off I go again...and it goes up again...and it keeps going...|
|...to make another long trail short. The ammonites have nothing to do with the Musee Promenade. The trail evetually gets you in the vicinity, but the actual "wall" is at ground level next to the road (CD900a) which leads northeast out of town. So I did find what I was looking for, but messed up my feet unnecessarily in the process. After a few quick pics I quickly walked back to the train station to get on my way...|
|Each one of the towns I stopped in had a memorial to those from that town that died in WWI, WWII and sometimes the mess the French got into in southeast Asia... very similar to the mess the US got into in southeast Asia. I don't know if there is a right way to do these things, but this guy looks pretty dead...|
|On the train from Dinge I had the car to myself.... the best shots (and clearest glass) were straight out the back of the train... this area is known for it's lavendar production...but that doesn't bloom until August...and I have no idea what it looks like when it's not in bloom...|
|Having done my share of walking in the morning I thought I would skip trying to walk between towns and focus on a specific town...one with a hike built into it.|
|Entrevaux is a "classic" by Dungeon and Dragons standards. It has a fortress high on the "hill". Two guard houses and a river below it.|
Up to the fort: The path switches back and forth a half dozen times up the face of the rock. The path is segmented by gates at regular intervals. I could not read the history, beyond that it was finished under the orders of Richelieu (Yes, I did those things) in the mid 1600's... but I can't imagine anyone taking the fortress without artillary. Entrevaux was one of a ring of towns on the then, French-Italian border and was fortified to keep both the Italians and later the Austrians out of France.
|...and though there was a cannon in the museum, the fort was built for cannon... mostly arrow slits...which I suppose work just as well for rifles...|
|Once up, the fort was... well, it was a mess...undergoing extensive renovations. This has to be a restored room, as every other one had grafitti on the inside...some dating from the 1880's (if you believe the dates)|
|Small problem with the staircase to the upper floor...|
|These were two of the prison cells... can you imaging being locked up with that as a view?|
|Some of the cells were "re used" during WWI... they did not have good views.|
|And though it didn't have a "dungeon", it has two cool tunnels that went beneath the fort.|
|The middle picture shows a tunnel leading to a row of arrow slits... the artifically enclosed an area below the tower...from the outside it just looked like rock face.|
|Heading back down...|
|I wonder who's hat that is? Important, as Entrevaux was sacked during the religious wars that "plauged" southern France.|
|The church apparently has a nice choir and organ, but was pitch black inside... the only thing lit was this... and I have no idea.|
|So, I decided that my sore feet should take a dip in the Var... and it helped, mainly because they numbed up in the cold water... this is real photographic artistry here...|
|There were these neat little butterfiels (papillon)... I think they were getting moisture from the sand...|
|Joint advertising between Trojan and the Miko Ice cream Company.|
|And on the train back to Nice|
|..and that's it!|