Tuesday 9 August

(magnify) Arbois street

It is wet and cloudy in the morning and we make a slow start. We walk from the campsite into Arbois, which is just a fifteen minute amble and begin the sight-seeing walking circuit on the town map.

Just before the halfway point we detour to see Louis Pasteur’s house. He must have been a wealthy man because the house is very large and well appointed. Overall the tour is a bit flat and our guide is lifeless, apologising several times that it is her first time doing it. It is lucky that we were given an English translation of the tour when we bought the tickets because I can understand almost nothing of what our guide says. Maybe she has a strong local accent?

It is approaching noon as we return to the sight-seeing circuit and R needs a sit down and something to eat. We are fleeced €8.50 for a Sprite (small and flavourless), a hot chocolate, and an eclair with chocolate fondant filling, which disappoints R who was expecting cream.

(magnify) The river
Right: More river

Dither over whether to complete the walk or return to the campsite for lunch. In the event it doesn’t take long to do the second half, which is also much prettier than the first half, crossing the river twice. We look inside St Just’s church, which has a dark stone interior with outward-leaning pillars. I read that the side galleries were added in an attempt to stabilise the structure and stop the whole thing falling down. A very grand organ is located in the gallery, but sadly we missed a recital that was given last night at six – dinner was a higher priority.

(magnify) La Chapelle de l’Ermitage d’Arbois
Tall sunflower

Back at the van we eat a relaxed lunch. Later in the afternoon we take a walk up to a chapel that we saw on the hills opposite the campsite when we were coming back from the town earlier. Our walk is mostly along road but it is quiet, and surprisingly warm.

A woman is sitting on a step near the chapel and as we approach she offers us the key. Apparently she lives in a house just above the chapel and is presumably the custodian. Inside the chapel there is not a great deal to see. Plastic wraps have been placed over some of the furniture and paint on the ceiling is flaking. I want to ask if it is being restored but can’t find any suitable words to convey the question.

Discover back at the van that we missed the panoramic view. I thought ‘Belvedere’ on a signpost was the name of a place, but it turns out it signified the viewpoint that we should have walked up to.

Other half of the spag bol we cooked last night for tea.