Sunday, January 3, 2010

So, what can we see that’s not too far away?

Resized_HPIM4078On Sunday, we again wanted to do something – anything!  So we headed for a place we sawResized_HPIM4077 on Google Maps that lots of other people had taken photos of.   That’s the state of modern vacationing. The place was called Thoraise.

We were starting to regain some energy again – but not enough for a long adventure!  We headed out and found ourselves in a lovely little section of the Doubs complete with forest and scenic overlooks. 

The highlight of the trip probably came in the first 10 minutes, when we found a large sheet of ice on a field bordering the path.  It must have been a puddle at one point, but, for whatever reason, the water was goResized_HPIM4055ne, leaving only the sheet of thin, ever-so smashable, ice! 

Where I grew up, in Ringwood, our house was fronted by a small stream.  It usually only ran when the rains were heavy in the spring or when theResized_HPIM4057 snow had melted but I absolutely LOVED that stream.  I spent countless hours there: rock hopping, making dams and even wading in and swimming (sort of) when it was hot.  I fondly remember a few times  when the stream had filled with water and it was cold enough to form ice.  Then, the water ran down the stream and left only the sheets of ice behind.  I would spend hours smashing and smashing the ice – no fear of wet feet!  My times with the stream were almost always alone – but I never minded.  I wonder when I started neResized_HPIM4060eding others to have such fun?

WithResized_HPIM4066 nothing but shards remaining – we headed onward and explored the canal. It had a name, by the way, a very French one.  This canal is known as…. Monsieur Canal.  Apparently there is even some sort of light and fountain show with this canal during the March to November months.  We walked through the lighted tunnel to the other sResized_HPIM4062ide and looked at the lock system they had put into place.  On the other side there was what looked like a round-about for boats – and a way to climb over the tunnel.  There was a shrine to Mary placed at the top and several  people had left flowers or candles behind. 

I know I’ve been Resized_HPIM4068in Europe way too long when I look at a sign saying 1858 and think: “How modern!”

We wandered on, hoping to get a better glimpse of the little chateau along the river, but no such luck.  We did see another shrine to Mary, though, tucked into a cave that, according to the sign, a local bishop had hollowed out.  He wanted to show his total faith and devotion to the Virgin Mother and scrabbled it out with his own bare hands.  Upon being told this, Zander’s immediate response was Resized_HPIM4082“No, way!  I don’t believe that! I bet this cave was already here – and he used a shovel.”  This outburst was backed up by André. “I think you are right Zander – This was probably already here.”  So much for the power of faith to move mountains.  To my men, faith doesn’t even move enough dirt to fill a small cave. 

We werResized_HPIM4083e getting tired and headed back to the car.  We did get a chance to see the chateau from across a field and a new French road sign.  Just when I thought I’d seen them all….

We headed for home, dinner and bed.   The next day was Monday again.  André went back to work and we spent the next three days doing homework, playing games and enjoying a playdate with Noemi. 2009 is just about over.


Adeline said...

Ok this road sign means that the main road turns on the left but there is another road continuing straight...but you go straight, you'll probably end up lost!

Alain said...

The sign actually means that the road you're on turns on the left and has the right of way over the tiny road that comes right in front of you.

I've been living in Besancon for years and never heard about these places! I guess it's the way it is: People don't even think to explore what is right next to them.

Rebecca said...

Definitely true - there are lots of really awesome things near philadelphia that I can reccomend for you guys if you are interested...


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