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Every hike has a silver lining!

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Hello dear Sparkfriends!

Let’s be honest: my hike today didn’t go at all as planned! The first thing was that I had hoped for much more snow as it had snowed during the night. But the sun was shining bright (which I definitely won’t complain about!)... and so most of the snow had melt even before the beginning of my hike! (As you’ll see though I did find some snow later during my hike still and it was beautiful!)

Today, I was in Coulommiers, a little town East of Paris. I was using one of my new hiking books! The first interesting part of the hike was crossing the ‘Parc des Capucins’. The picture above is from the Museum, installed in an old chapel. I didn’t take the time to visit it, but as I have already decided to come back in the summer, I’ll see it then!

I think it might have been the first time I saw a black swan! I didn’t like it when it started walking straight towards me. Poor thing, I guess it was hungry!

Shortly after I left the park, I walked on lanes above the houses. The path was muddy, but it was manageable, and I liked the old wall on the right. There was some snow left!

Then I reached what was supposed to be the highlight of today’s hike...

The Commanderie of the Knights Templar, built between the 12th and the 16th centuries. What I could see from outside was outstanding already, but unfortunately the building is closed during the winter! :( Another visit for the summer...

There was much more snow there than in the area around the building and the countryside. I am not sure why... Maybe because of the very old buildings which remain cold for longer?

I liked the grass outside the windows, it looked like cotton wool because of the snow...

This photograph is on one of the signs outside the building. I think it gives a good idea of how impressive it actually is. The buildings I was able to take a picture of are only the back of the two buildings on the left!

Then I was off for a walk through the countryside! With the sun shining, it was so lovely!

Well, that was until...

If you think he looks friendly, think again!

He barked like mad and showed his teeth as I wanted to keep walking. I don’t understand people who leave their dog outside their house, especially when their house is built on a public footpath! It drives me mad. Indeed, I was just furious! After trying several times to approach the dog (well... just to keep walking on the path!), I realized it was hopeless. I thought of giving up and walking back to Coulommiers, but I had only just started to walk through the countryside! So instead I crossed through the fields, far away from the path and the nasty dog. What would you have done?

It was a nightmare. The mud was very sticky in the fields! Still, with my zoom, I took a picture of the dog in the distance, still barking like crazy even though I was far away from him!

Ah well, he didn’t eat me for his dinner, for which I am very glad. And I am equally glad I didn’t give up, as the village and countryside that followed were really worth it! Aulnoy was beautiful in the sunshine, and there was still snow left!...

The lake outside Aulnoy was so beautiful! Probably my favorite time today...

There were some beautiful houses, manors and farms in the area...

After walking through the fields for a while...

... I was supposed to take a steep little path which went down through the forest all the way back to Coulommiers.

Well, that didn’t happen. I cannot believe I forgot to take a picture of the ‘path’, or what was left of it. I did try to walk on it, but I realized I would end up breaking my neck: the path itself had been washed away, and all that was left were the roots of the trees and a little river in the middle. It took me 10 minutes to do just 5 steps!!! I think I would still be there if I hadn’t decided to go back (10 more minutes!) and take another way.

Ah well, it doesn’t matter! It enabled me to pass by Montanglaust’ Castle, were French poet Jean de la Fontaine spent most of his summers as a child:

Then, further down, I reached Coulommiers town center, which looked a bit like a (very small) French Venice! :)

I wouldn’t mind having my breakfast every summer morning on one of those little balconies!

Although quite a few things didn’t go as planned today, I enjoyed my hike! Every hike has a silver lining! :)
I hope you are all having a beautiful weekend, and that those of you who live on the East Coast aren’t too affected by the heavy snow!
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    Thank you for sharing your hike with us, Claire. Except for the dog, it looks wonderful. What are the slanted structures coming down from the Comanderie? Do you suppose they are supports for the wall (like in Amsterdam), or are they used to bring things down from the upper level of the building? I love the picture of the window with the plants in front of it.

    It's really unfair for people to leave their dogs outside on a public footpath! Surely with the dog barking so much, even after you left the path to walk across the fields, they must have heard it. Wouldn't you think they would have taken the dog inside???
    Very thoughtless!

    I'm glad you are enjoying your new hiking books, and that you plan to go back to this area again. Perhaps the dog won't be around next time.

    Have a good day tomorrow,
    1961 days ago
    Your pictures are some of the most beautiful I have ever seen. I enjoy them so much. Are you a photographer? You have such a good eye for picture taking. Granted you have so much beauty to work with, but you seem to know just how to take the picture.

    Keep posting because all of us are really enjoying them. It makes me want to go to Paris. The black swan, how beautiful. I have never seen one before, so what a treat.

    Thank you!
    1961 days ago
    Beautiful photos. What a great hike. I'm from east coast and although we got between 2-3 feet of snow we did have time to play too.
    1961 days ago
    What beautiful pics! Wow what a beautiful place!
    1961 days ago
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