Arrondissement de Laon

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    • Day 23

      Day 20 - Seraucourt la Grand to Tergnier

      May 10, 2023 in France ⋅ 🌧 10 °C

      The rain held off for the first 5 km or so, and then, all the gear, my rain gear, and my backpack that I had managed to dry overnight got soaked all over again! The walk started across farmland on what was an old stone road and then became a lengthy walk next to the Canal du Saint Quentin with only one quagmire to contend with. It was lovely. I saw some herons and another six locks (no photos as they all look pretty much alike). I got to Tergnier and tried at three places to get accommodation (not one responded to my previous emails and I can't ring as my UK SIM will not let me make calls) and the only 'Hotel' open (apparently this is a 'recovering' area) doesn't offer accommodation anymore! Luckily, there is a train station here so I'm cheating and catching the train to Laon! To be perfectly honest, it's probably for the best as the walk between Tergnier and Laon is at least 39 km, and the forecast is for thunderstorms tomorrow! I'm not up for that. I saw a lot of pilgrim spray on signs today, and I've added some in my pics.Read more

    • Day 24

      Day 21 - rest day (Laon)

      May 11, 2023 in France ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      Laon is my very first medieval town, so you will have to excuse me for being awestruck. I took a lot of photos today and did not capture a tenth of the place. In some ways, the narrow streets and closeness of everything can be a little claustrophobic and foreboding and a little sad, as you are surrounded by buildings that appear to be holding each other up, and just barely at that. The ramparts are huge and well maintained. I was disappointed not to be able to visit the Chapel of the Knights Templar as it was being renovated. P.S. I'm sleeping in the attic room, of a four storey 1800s building, and have to climb 57 steps to get up there!Read more

    • Day 25

      Day 22 - Laon to Corbeny

      May 12, 2023 in France ⋅ 🌧 12 °C

      Some really fantastic walking today. Of course, it was raining when I left Laon, but the worst of it was gone around midday. After leaving the misty peaks of Laon and the surrounding urban area, there was some farmland walking (I walked through some wheat fields), some (artificial) lake side walking (Lac de l'Ailette), and a good bit of forest walking - just lovely. I saw a fox today, bold as brass. It had no fear of me at all, and some white swans in their natural habitat. P.S. I should have mentioned the Chemin du Roi (the Kings path) with this post - it was very much a highlight of the day; magnificent trees and a really lovely path.Read more

    • Day 26

      Day 23 - Corbeny to Hermonville

      May 13, 2023 in France ⋅ ☀️ 14 °C

      I walked under the sun today. What a treat! The best part of my day, though, was getting into my accommodation just minutes before the forecast "thundershowers" came down with a vengeance! I saw some actual barges on the Canal Lateral a l'Aisne, and I'm now in Champagne! So, all the bubbly I drink here will be the real thing. Not much mud today, but it was the sticky kind that makes you lose your boot tread - so some gingerly stepping from me. I followed a pheasant along the path for some distance and from some distance back. Naturally, that distraction made me miss my turnoff, but I recovered. Anyway, pheasants appear to be like chickens (not in appearance) in that they can fly but prefer to walk. My achievement today; I climbed up 250 m, after leaving one village, only to have to descend that same 250 m to get into Hermonville. I had a good laugh at the statue of Don Quixote in the meals room of my hotel from last night at Corbeny - are they having a subtle dig, or not so subtle dig, at us pilgrims? Just a note on the pictures: the French really know how to stack wood, I believe the religious statues are of Joan of Arc (my new idol) and St. George the dragon slayer.Read more

    • Day 84

      50er Jahre Villa...

      April 25, 2023 in France ⋅ ☀️ 10 °C

      Heute schlafe ich in einer alten Villa, oder auf einem kompletten Hof.
      Die Villa ist auch tatsächlich im 50er Jahre Stil eingerichtet. Das mag ich!
      Meine Laune ist seit gestern etwas im Keller.
      Seitdem ich in Frankreich bin regnet es, ist bewölkt oder ist mega kalt..9 Grad! In der Wüste war es bis zu 36 Grad, in Portugal noch 27 Grad. Ich friere nur noch, mache keine Fotos mehr, oder minimal. Ich spüre, wie das Wetter und die Landschaft meine Stimmung beeinflusst.
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    • Day 8

      Middle a nee where

      September 18, 2022 in France ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      No towns, no squares, no people watching. Just chilling after a 12 mile jolly on the bikes. But onwards we go tomorrow to Chalon Du Champagne. Could be a wee few Champers samples being tried out the next few days 🥂Read more

    • Day 8


      September 18, 2022 in France ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      Lovely bike ride along the canal today, but windy but dry!! I was a wee bit worried cycling along a corn field - too many Horror movies in my youth! Ha ha
      Now for some roast chicken and mushroom risotto.
      Overnight stop at Camping de La Frette aire before heading South again tomorrow.
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    • Day 15

      Tergnier 22 miles

      July 27, 2023 in France ⋅ 🌧 19 °C

      I had the unwanted company of a fly during the night, trying to keep me awake. Didn’t succeed, partly because flies don’t concern me nearly as much as mosquitos. Flies don’t bite.

      Then I went for breakfast. Laid out on the kitchen table. Enjoying the breakfast was the most flies I think I have ever seen inside in my life. Every piece of bread and croissant had at least 3 or 4 chomping away. Slightly off-putting. Naturally a large hound joined me just to complete my anguish. Couldn’t get on the road fast enough despite it raining heavily.

      Continued raining all morning. Mostly on road. Interesting watching the traffic coming towards me. Some folk went completely on to the other side of the road, others barely moved at all. If there was something coming up behind me very few slowed down, they just didn’t change direction at all, presumably assuming I would take the hint and leap off the road to avoid leaving a dent on their car.

      Passed a shop around lunchtime. Got an aged banana, a packet of 3 Snickers and a can of juice. Kept one Snickers for later and had the rest.

      Couple of difficulties during the day. Firstly, a flooded road and secondly, the path just disappeared. Became rather unfriendly nettles and brambles, all soaking wet. Not good with my wee shorts.

      By the time I approached the campsite I was pretty done for. For about the first time my mapping software, Pocket Earth, let me down. Clearly showed a route which turned out to have a dirty great fence blocking it. Retracing my steps added a painful mile to the day. Worse was to come. When I checked in I asked about the snack bar which the site’s web page showed as being open every day in July and August from 10am until 9pm. Closed because it was raining I was told. Do the French not eat when it is raining?

      The nearest restaurant or shop was at least a mile and a half away. Hungry or not I couldn’t make that. I needed my saved Snickers to give me enough strength to put up the tent. You will probably hear my stomach rumbling during the night. And of course the campsite is on my way out of town tomorrow. If I am to get any breakfast then I need to walk a mile and a half in the wrong direction to get anything. Still no-one said this was going to be easy.
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    • Day 29

      Stage 20: Corbeny to Hermonville

      May 9, 2023 in France ⋅ 🌧 59 °F

      Rain. Lots of rain. Rain all day long. Rain on my clothes and in my clothes. Rain. (which is still better than walking in the heat!)

      Today was almost all cultivated fields. Lots of muddy tracks and paths.

      I celebrated finding an open restaurant in Berry au Bac by sitting down for a light meal, even though I wasn’t hungry. Turns out open restaurants during a downpour are one of Life’s pleasures.

      I am now officially in the Champagne region of France. I even walked through my first champagne vineyard.
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    • Day 17

      Corbeny 18 miles

      July 29, 2023 in France ⋅ ☁️ 19 °C

      Rained heavily overnight which made me a little concerned because the guidebook’s description of today said “Prepare for mud and mosquitoes in damp weather”. Fab.

      No breakfast available which didn’t worry me too much as I was sure I would pass something on my way out of town. Except I didn’t. When I reached the next village the only boulangerie was shut for a month from 21st July. Do the locals just not eat for a month? Did manage to get a wee local shop about noon. Just as well I wasn’t any later because he said he closes at 12.30pm for a couple of hours. All he had was a fairly nasty packet of sandwiches, banana and fruit juice. Sat on some steps and eat what I could. It did.

      The day stayed dry up until the last few miles but felt a bit of a slog especially as my phone died and my power bank didn’t work so I was left in silence. Get so used to Desert Island Discs it seems really strange to walk in silence.

      Lucky to get in tonight’s hotel as it shuts for the whole of August. Dinner in the hotel was fine which was as well because it’s the only game in town.

      Continuing to try to dry out the tent overnight. By the time I get it dry I will have another night’s camping and it will all start again.

      Major thunderstorm not long after I reached the hotel. That would have given me something to think about if I had been a bit later.
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    You might also know this place by the following names:

    Arrondissement de Laon

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