We’ve spent the last two days in the medieval town of Noyers-sur-Serein right in the middle of France, about 200km south of Paris. It’s typically French, as typical as I’ve seen with their admirable attention to detail and commitment to a high quality of life. The Bourgogne region has fairytale castles, rolling green hills with woods filling the crevasses and lining the rivers… the movie Chocolat was filmed here.
This town – Noyers – fills the bend of a river and its buildings have exposed beams on the facades. They lean over the stony street like they’re about to give up, and life goes on as usual. There are only 700 residents here. We saw signs for an “Old Chateau” so we walked out of town and followed the river against the foot of a forested hill as it bent to the south. The next sign pointing to the chateau was so white-washed that we walked past it and only realized we’d missed the turn a mile later. So we turned around and found the path and turned up the hill. We went up the steps, steps made of wood, and walked up the hill through the trees until we came to a plateau where two towers were being excavated. It looked like the top of the towers were still original, they stuck up like broken fork tines, but the bottom was being expertly redone by a team of archaeologists, I hope.
There was a sign pointing to a panoramic view, so we followed the path across a golden field, then we crossed down into a valley and up the other side. When we got to the top we kept walking through the woods but noticed that the ground was strange – it was bumpy and just didn’t look right. We started to notice a lot of white stones and we started to realize that the path was taking us over a buried city. To the left was a wall pushing out of the ground, to the right the inside of a turret had been exposed. The valley we’d walked across had been a pair of city walls. We’d later learn that we had walked near a dungeon and a church and the town square. All buried on the top of the hill.
Anyway, we’re going up to Paris today to say goodbye to the scooter. We’re heading home in just a few weeks so we feel we should start trying to sell it now rather than wait until we’re desperate. Neither Azure nor I are looking forward to being back in a big city, but it’ll be brief – after it’s sold we’re going to go back down south for the end of the trip.