I may have mentioned yesterday that indications are that Bar-le-Duc may have been here a while.
Any town in which the tourist information apologises that only a few relics exist from the Celtic era and that a proper history is only available from about the first century AD, is old in my assessment. This is one of those places and if we do say so ourselves in a mode of subtle self-congratulation it seems like an entirely suitable spot to sit quietly for a few days.
Even Mr Perkins has been on his best behaviour, partly I suspect because we haven't attempted to start him for a day or so but also no doubt because this is the place where the diesel engine was developed and he is doubtless in a suitably reverend mood.
Which brings me neatly to the Renaissance which pretty much had its roots in Bar-le-Duc a good hundred years or so before anyone else had thought of it, and by the time others around the place thought having a Renaissance would be a good idea, the local artisans were pretty much on top of their game, as indeed were their patrons. Even though half a millennium has elapsed since the likes of Mr Ligier put down his chisel for the last time, it's pretty hard not to be impressed with what they have left.
The layers of the history of this town, like the signs on its buildings, are indelibly superimposed over each other. Perhaps in a day or two we shall have managed a glimpse at the corners of some, but I suspect we will have moved on before getting a clear view of any.