Legends from our own lunchtimes

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Exploring the battlefields
Veneray to les Laumes-Alesia (and back)

As best we could tell, the battle of Alésia did not take place three or four kilometres from our mooring, so when the day dawned clear and hot we decided to strike out on foot to the village of Alésia itself, still sitting at the top of the hill where bits of it have sat for almost two thousand years, overlooking just about everything including the plain where the battle did not take place.

The Gallo-Roman remains of the original settlement are exposed to view on the outskirts of the "modern" village, and on the plains below the new "interpretation" centre sits as a portal into the past, waiting for Sunday when the troops will arrive to re-enact the battles of old.

By the time we had walked past both, I was grateful that I'd brought my new fangled hiking poles, although when our short-cut home went slightly awry, and we ended up hiking through the actual Alésian hospital, the others in my company could not decide whether or not I was endangered by the looks of the hospital staff as I strode with my sticks, boldly where no hiker apparently had been before.

The staff on the other hand, did not act in haste, and allowed us to leave by the fire exit, perhaps understanding that it would lock automatically behind us.  

We gave some consideration for a time, to starting a new internet meme about "people hiking with poles through public buildings" but in the absence of any photographic evidence and after a good deal of late night discussion, sensibly decided not to tell a soul.

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