Via Francigena

Day 31 – FOUCHERANS TO MOUTHIER-HAUTE-PIERRE: Jura mountains, we have arrived!

The stage


👣 25 km on foot – Tuesday 20 July

You know that feeling when you wake up in the middle of the night and for a second there you don’t know where you are?I guess this happens to all of us from time to time, but when sleeping in a different bed each night this is usually a more common phenomenon. It’s been more than a month since Road to Rome started, and by now I have slept in approximately 25 different beds since departure. Some nights I have slept super well, others for some reason didn’t turn out that great.

Last night I didn’t sleep very well, but there’s this gut feeling telling me that this night will be different. Not so much because I’m more tired than yesterday or because I walked more kms than usual. Instead I think it has something to do with the landscape around us. Today more than in the past few days or weeks, the landscape surrounding us has drastically changed.

This morning when we left Foucherans, there were still many cultivated fields everywhere, but now when I look out the window I see mountains, trees, and impressive rocks all around. This can only mean one thing: we have officially entered the Jura mountain range!

I may have already mentioned this before in one of my podcasts for Radio Francigena, but I am a true mountain lover and arriving here in the Jura after weeks and weeks in the lower French countryside is a true breath of fresh air. And that’s why I’m convinced that tonight I will be having a very good night’s sleep.

But enough about me! What happened during Road to Rome you are probably asking yourself. Well, we started walking early in the morning together with quite a big group of local walkers. Our first meeting was at the town of Ornans, birthplace of the famous painter Gustave Courbet. In order to get to Ornans we followed a beautiful former train track turned into a hiking & biking road along the Brême river. Not even the slightest sound of traffic or cars reached this place, which was a true pleasure for our ears and minds.

Ornans is a beautiful town, very picturesque, and we were offered a guided tour to the most important places. A subsequent welcome committee with snacks & drinks and a visit to the Costume & Traditions museum were waiting for us before we set off towards the equally (if not more) picturesque towns of Vuillafans and Lods. It is here that I realized how much the landscape had changed between yesterday and today. Crystal clear rivers that run through gorgeous small towns, surrounded by green mountains. A final climb between Lods and Mouthier-Haute-Pierre made the sweat return to our faces and provided a good, afternoon workout for our glutes.

Upon arrival at our destination we met Arianna Izzi, who will be our third RTR Ambassador until Aigle. Together with Arianna and the rest of the team we had a great, relaxing dinner in the garden of our guest house. After filling our bellies with a perfect amount of fresh veggies, we are now more than ready to put our bodies & minds to rest, because a good old mountain stage is already waiting for us tomorrow


The beautiful hiking & biking path along the Brême river

The blue/green water of the river Loue

Finally doing some proper climbing up into the mountains

Sleeping at the Villa Meyriem and having a group dinner in its romantic garden


Myra Stals, Social Media Manager (EAVF)

Jacques Chevin, staff member (EAVF)

Luca Bruschi, Director (EAVF)

Elena Dubinina, International Relations (EAVF)

Claire Waïss (FFR)

Andrea Ciotti, videomaker

Many local walking enthusiasts