👣 23,3 km on foot – Monday 12 July
After 8 days in the saddle, it was a tad bit weird to put our hiking boots back on this morning. Over the past few days we’ve gotten used to cycling our way towards Rome, a great way to travel along the Via Francigena. But we felt also more than ready to switch again from slow travelling to even slower travelling, so with renewed energy we set off from Langres to Culmont. A medium-length stage to start with for Andrea Alessandrini, our new RTR Ambassador, and Jacques Chevin, our EAVF staff member who will be walking with us in the upcoming week(s).
Yesterday’s sun made way for some clouds and even some drops of rain, but the freshness of the air was actually also pretty perfect for walking. When leaving Langres, it’s impressive how this city remains visible until after more than half of the stage. Only a couple of kilometres after leaving the city we reached the Lac de la Liez, one of 4 artificial lakes in the area. Almost half of today’s stage runs along this lake, and we took this opportunity to fly our drone and create some nice contents for the docufilm that’s planned after Road to Rome ends.
We consumed our half meter of baguette for lunch in a little bus stop next to the road, after which we continued our way towards a fortification just before the tiny town of Montlandon. Fort Fermier was built between 1883-1885 and sits very well preserved next to the Via Francigena itinerary. Curious as we are we decided to enter, without knowing it is currently private property. Upon entrance we were greeted by the owner, a lovely lady who bought the fort only recently. She and her family live there since February and are planning to open a restaurant and later on to have at least 13 rooms for travellers and pilgrims. This is great news for walkers and cyclists along the Via Francigena in France: sleeping here must be a truly amazing experience! This place has seen some important historical events, and it would be a full immersion in local history. After a short guided tour and an exchange of contacts, we continued the last part of today’s journey to Culmont.
In Culmont the municipality apparently wasn’t interested in welcoming us, but now that we’re so close to the town where our EAVF office is located (Champlitte), it was decided that this evening we eat and sleep in Champlitte and tomorrow early in the morning we go back to Culmont to continue our travels towards the south.
Visiting Fort Fermier and meeting its lovely owner
Restarting our walking stages after 8 days of cycling
The many friendly (and beautiful!) cows observing us from next to the roadside
New faces in our midst: Jacques Chevin & Andrea Alessandrini
Myra Stals, Social Media Manager (EAVF)
Jacques Chevin, staff member (EAVF)
Andrea Alessandrini, RTR Ambassador
Brigitte Soulary, President (FFR)
Nicola Cagol, videomaker