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A castle for Christmas

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Monday, December 24, 2012

Hello dear Sparkfriends!

One month without a hike! :( Honestly, the weather hasn’t been wonderful lately, and I have missed my hikes! Finally today, the weather forecast was good. So I decided to go to Normandy, a little town by the Seine called Les Andelys.

I parked outside St Jacques’ Hospital.

There are archives showing that there was an hospital there already in 1225. The hospital as we see it today was built around 1785-1790.

I followed the Grand-Rang river...

Some houses were built across the river and so each one had their own little bridge! How cool is that? :)

I followed little streets like the very cute ‘rue de l’horloge’ and its unusual belfry at the top which makes like an archway...

I saw the church from above (Notre-Dame Church, built in 1225)...

Then I walked up and up through the countryside for a while...

Before walking down again and following the Gambon river... The sound was so peaceful!

But then it was time to walk up again!

I could see where I was on the hill opposite one hour ago...

and of course I had to stop to look at wild clematis, you know how much I love them!

After the climb came the reward: Château-Gaillard...

... a medieval castle built in 1197-1198 by Richard the Lionheart, king of England, at a time when Normandy was English. My picture really doesn’t do it justice! There was a sign that showed how the castle used to look like:

If you want more information (in English) on the castle, you can find it here:

What was for me the highlight of my hike was actually the view from the castle: on the Seine and the town below. You can even see the hospital where I had parked!

And what a fantastic coincidence that there happened to be goats and sheep just as I was there!... How Christmassy!

"There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby keeping watch over their flocks at night." (But I have to admit I didn't see any shepherd!)

Each time I see goats nowadays, I think about BAKER1009, who used to have a little goat as a child! Hi Beth! :)

A few minutes later, they were further below and I couldn’t have had them in the picture:

After walking down the steeeep path, I was back in Les Andelys. Some of the streets’ signs were old-fashioned. This one said: ‘Grace of God Lane.’ Nice for a Christmas hike! :)

On the Seine...

... the seagulls were all stuck together like seagulls kebabs!

A family of swans was enjoying a little swimm!

There was a view on the castle...

... on the 18th century hospital...

... and on the white cliffs.

And that’s it for my hike today! I hope you enjoyed it. :)
Joyeux Noël! Merry Christmas, dear Sparkfriends!

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