Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Besancon to Vuillafans: Up!





Gordon - Today we were reminded that France has a third dimension - up. We are in the foothills of the Jura mountains, and suddenly we cannot wander at will on a network of secondary roads laid out on a two dimensional surface. While we must now follow river valleys, or pay a surcharge struggling over ridges, we are delighted to find ourselves in such a beautiful landscape. Much of the land is forested, and because there is a layer of limestone near the crest of the hills, there are numerous white cliffs above us.
We passed through the town of Ornans this afternoon, famous as the hometown of the painter Courbet. It was easy to see where he may have gained some of his inspiration, as a continuous line of houses built out over the river defined its banks, while above the town buildings topped the white cliffs.

We have covered over 800 km at this point, but we only have time for four more days of walking/riding. This will permit us to get to Lausanne. We cross into Switzerland the day after tomorrow, and we are already starting to feel the influence of that country. Some of the houses have an alpine look, the cows have bells, the price of accommodation is rising, and Ruth is starting to yodel.


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