/ Europe2011

There was a crooked man ...

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.

He found a crooked sixpence a__gainst a crooked stile.

He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,

And they all lived together in a little crooked house

Well, he certainly could have hailed from Troyes. What a fascinating little city! We Brits tend to think we have our share of beautiful half-timbered buildings, think Stratford, the Rows in Chester etc but Troyes is just street after street of ramshackled 16th century houses, some streets so close together that the houses are (were originally?) buttressed to each other at first floor level. Add magnificent churches with threatening gargoyles and this is one impressive city. We were amazed so much of the medieval build was still standing especially after discovering the city have be ravished by 3 fires over the centuries and the 19th century canal which rased many fine buildings.

The municipal campsite is a 20 minute easy walk into town and the free map they provided includes two separate walking routes which take in most of the medieval highlights of the champagne cork shaped city centre. There is a Monoprix in town which has grocery shopping but the supermarket just round the corner from the campsite has most essentials (looking forward to trying the cans of German black beer later tonight)

A personal highlight of the day - the Belgian distributor Pearl Games produces the strategy game Troyes for the French market, but includes both German and English rules. A fitting souvenir.

Oh, and one more thing about Troyes. In modern times it is famous for its Outlet Stores, hundreds of them, mainly to the north, a mile or so from the campsite. Anyone who knows us probably realises that our designer brand of choice is Oxfam so they held no interest and were ignored.