Saturday, July 17, 2010

A walk to Fort Beauregard

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Well, this was the craziest month.  André went to Norway, spent about 4 days at home, and then headed off to the US for his sister’s wedding.  André has two younger siblings, his brother Mark (who visited us here over a year ago) and a sister Jenae.  She was married with two children but, over the last 6 months, got a divorce and got engaged.   It wish we could have all been there for her specResized_DSC00059ial day but it was way too expensive to send the whole family. I told André he needed to go and off he went.  Hopefully he will blog about his experiences there some day and I can’t wait to meet my new brother-in-law, niece and nephew – hopefully in Philly sometime soon.

Meanwhile, I had the kids on a weekend with no particular plans. We decided to make a picnic lunch and head over to Fort Beauregard for some hiking adventures and wild strawberry (frais de bois) picking.  

We took a small path, picking flowers along the way.  Turned out the path led to the abandoned tracks of what used to be the Besancon funicular.  We have been on a few funiculars during our adventuring so it was interesting to see an abandoned one.  We decided to follow the tracks up to the top of the mountain….  We were careful not to fall into holes!  Callie was thrilled to find a giant bamboo baton at the top where the old station still resides – it was brought home and is still in our back garden…

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Then we headed over to the fort; of course there is a wonderful view of Besancon.  According to the sign posted next to the beautiful view: “The French Revolution ushered in a new period of urban defense, which arose from the threats to urban borders and advances in military technology.  The new strategy was to construct advanced structures to spread the action of the garrison beyond the routes that were already covered. Fort Beauregard was built between 1845 and probably 1870.  Its role was to provide cover for Fort Bregille from the north and it also protected a section of the town walls on the left bank and the head of the Battant bridge on the right bank.”  It is amazing to me that this fort is only 140 years old and is it almost completely consumed – whereas we have visited so many older sites that are still functioning.  I guess if you let things alone, nature takes over.

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Finally we headed over to eat lunch and pick berries….

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Callie also found an amazing yellow ladybug – and a lizard.  She has eagle eyes…. (and she loves her little brother)

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When we got back home, I made strawberry soup and two large jars of wild strawberry jam…. life is good!

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