It’s 25th December and overcast. The sun has obviously decided not to waste its energy on people about to tuck into Christmas lunch inside their homes where they won’t know if it rains or shines. We celebrated Christmas with just the two of us last night as our four adult children are all elsewhere this year, which is not a problem of course. We need some rest! We’ve had our brunch and are ready to go for a little hike. Despite the lack of sun, it’s really quite balmy at 9°C. Our recent walks have been a lot chillier.
I’ve chosen Montrichard as our starting point because there is a GR hiking trail high above the Cher River and it seems there are even troglodytes. We try to hike in winter in places where we can’t cycle in the winter.
We park in Montrichard and there is not a soul in sight. It’s easy to take photographs with no one around – not even cars! The ruins of the mediaeval castle are omnipresent. We hadn’t realised how many Renaissance buildings there are in Montrichard.
There are also several brightly-coloured 15th century half-timbered houses.
Our GR trail takes us up a hill past the 11th century Preacher’s House, the only house that survived when Philippe Auguste ordered the town to be razed to the ground by fire in 1188 to get rid of the English invaders.
We walk up steep winding steps until we reach the highest point where the castle stands.
The path then takes us through a little wood and down another steep path.
A little blue boat seems a little far from the river today.
Around the next corner we come to a vineyard.
We walk through another forest and come to a bitumen road just after two picnic tables and several mounds of beer bottles. This can’t be right – we must have missed the signs, so we back-track and find ourselves overlooking a village with more troglodyte houses.
After a teabreak halfway down to the village, we start heading home. The sky brightens a little and then it starts spitting lightly.
We walk around the castle but there’s a fence to keep trespassers out of course.
We end our walk along the Cher. We can see a couple of people on the “beach” where we enjoyed a welcome ice-cream the summer before last after a hot ride along the river.
Our path back to the car takes us past the town hall, looking very festive. Joyeuses fêtes, it says, “Happy Holidays”. May I wish you all a happy Christmas as well!