I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Day 21: Dienville To Bar-Sur-Aube

I continued along the valley of the Aube. The day was overcast and cool, but there was no more rain, so it was good walking weather. This is a geranium-topped public fountain in Unienville, 3 km from Dienville. Most of the villages in this area appeared to have seen better days.

Gradually the terrain became more undulating and forested.

 I love taking pictures of amusing and interesting signs, and this one pleased me greatly. A hamlet called 'Other World'! Though, in the end, there was nothing very other-worldly about it . . . 

Whether these inquisitive cows are Charolais or Blonde d'Aquitaine, I'm not sure. Perhaps someone out there knows? (Apart from amusing and interesting signs, I also love cows . . .) 

. . . and badgers too, so it was sad to see this one as roadkill.

Back to the plain again . . .  The oilseed rape had long gone, and most of the cereals had already been cut, but the maize and sunflowers were still to be harvested. As was the hemp . . . This is a field of industrial hemp, grown for rope and paper making, also for oil and biofuel. I could have done with a mild high at this stage of the day — since cafés and coffees were in short supply — but the intoxicating properties of this type of cannabis are very low!

Grain silos: necessary blots on the landscape, the modern-day churches and cathedrals of the north-east French countryside . . .

Lavoir on the river Aube at Dolancourt.

Crossing the river Aube into Bar-sur-Aube.

The river Aube in Bar-sur-Aube.

Bar-sur-Aube.

The mairie in Bar-sur-Aube.

The Église Saint-Pierre in Bar-sur-Aube. Note the 16th-century wooden porch (known as an halloy) used for market stalls.  

The mesure matrice in the church wall. According to Alison Raju's guide, this was 'a measure for corn and other cereals dating from about 1570 and which served as a check in case of disputes between buyer and seller.'   

Inside the Église Saint-Pierre.

6 comments:

George said...

Bar-sur-Aube looks charming. Once again, a lovely mairie.

Susan Scheid said...

Bar-sur-Aube looks as if it must have been a respite from the towns that came before. Your long walks are remarkable to me, who has never taken a long distance walk. It seems a wonderful way to see the world close up.

Timecheck said...

I particularly love the vivid color in your images. Are you using some special settings on your camera or is it just the work of a master photographer?

The Solitary Walker said...

It's clear you have a thing about mairies, George. I'll try to include more!

Hi Susan! Nice to see you. You've got it — it is the most wonderful way to see the world close up. A form of travel in which you feel intimately connected with the earth. You feel part of the landscape you're walking through — its history, its topography, its natural history its uniqueness, its particular 'feel'. Well, to some extent, anyhow.

The Solitary Walker said...

I'm really no great photographer, Ralph — but I do try to create a satisfying image. A feel for composition and a Sony Nex camera probably help in this. Also my particular blog template does seem to flatter and brighten the photos somehow. I do straighten, crop and enhance when necessary, and very occasionally retouch, with the Mac editor — but only subtly. The photo should look as 'natural' as possible (though in one sense nothing is natural in a photo as it's a created image) — I wouldn't alter sky colour radically, or try to make a sunny day out of a dull day. I use no special settings on the camera — in fact, it's often just set at automatic (or shutter/aperture priority, depending on what action is going on, what depth of field is required etc.)

The Solitary Walker said...

Having said that about the Sony Nex, I took an older camera, a Panasonic Lumix, on this trip, because it's small and compact, and fits nicely into a zip pocket in the hip belt of my Golite backpack. It's automatic, but has a Leica lens.