Day 23 – Brienne-le-Chateau to Bar-sur-Aube – 20.69kms

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Still on the Old Roman Road near Brienne-le-Chateau. However as Monty Python asks ‘but what have the Romans ever done for us?’ Well, just built roads and water supplies, and developed sewerage, health and education systems – nothing really!!!!

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The bidet seems to be fast disappearing from the French bathroom scene. This is the first one we’ve seen in over 3 weeks of both commercial and private accommodation. Perhaps the shower, known as the douche, has made it irrelevant now? The shower seems to be the successor to the bidet.

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The Monsieur of our hotel was the barman, barista, maitre’d, head cook, waiter and receptionist. Most of the time there was a very close resemblance between him and Basil Fawlty! It was just magic to watch him at work!!!!!

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The Hotel des Voyageurs was definitely a one man show and will be remembered because of this. It was also situated on the main road so had all the benefits of the passing semi-trailer noise- not easy to forget either!!

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The almost empty village of Unieville has this delightful church and graveyard at the junction of several roads.

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We’ve walked along some beautiful lightly timbered gravel paths today with little mud. Seems we’ve left the muddy, slippery, chalky, clay road base behind which means our boots are no longer heavily clogged up with sticky soil.

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We continue seeing spring gardens in bloom in almost uninhabited villages, telling us that someone’s still living here and cares enough to plant some beautiful bulbs!

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We stopped today to look at the outside of this locked church and within minutes a woman came and unlocked it. We then had the pleasure of going into this superbly maintained church, unlike many we have visited in small villages that are in poor repair. Architecturally it was very interesting dating from the 12th century.

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Looking into the church from the nave.

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A contemporary of Rodin provided this small sculpture of the Madonna and child for the church.

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We walked through woodlands such as these a good deal of the day, enjoying the company of families of swans at times.

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