On Sunday, we again wanted to do something – anything! So we headed for a place we saw 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 gone, 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 the 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 needing others to have such fun?
With 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 side 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.
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 “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 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.