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Monday not so good

Closed for the season
Chateau (maison de garde at the dam) in decline, Lac des Settons

We had a wonderful, lively breakfast, one UK couple regaling us with stories about friends of theirs who were caught in the Eurostar tunnel fiasco last winter, and another telling us of the zoning nightmare trying to renovate a home in St. Tropez.

Our tourist options were a little limited today; Monday is a day of rest in the region.
Our host rolled his eyes when we asked for suggestions: “Monday not so good…”  So we set off deep into the Morvan forest.  Although overcast again, it was high cloud and relatively bright and milder.  But by the time we got to Lac des Settons, recommended to us for a circumference walk, it was (at 600 meters) a chilly four degrees!  We set off for our hike but I think the entire lake was a little unrealistic; 17 kms in five hours on a chilly day out of season…  We hiked for about two hours.  It was a mix of pleasant forest, sort of like Pitt Lake, and cabins and campsite and hotels, sort of like Penticton.  But being October it was also like a ghost town, and some inns had a “Shining-esque” quality, dining tables still set but shut for the season.  We saw an owl, always a sign there’s no one about.

SS says the French don’t do modern well

After the lake walk we took a very narrow country road (about single lane width, 70 kms hour, no shoulder) to a village called Menessaire where there is a chateau open to the public every day of the year.  Sauf lunedi it turned out.  We stopped at a brasserie for lunch and ordered salad.  Pasta only on Monday!  We continued through the forest and many villages and farms and forests eventually ending up back in Autun which was, being Monday, pretty closed up.  But we took in the cathedral and explored the ramparts and had a pleasant poke about.

National heritage at Menessaire, open to the public all days…


…except Monday


Saves mowing the grass


How green is my valley?


Boughs of mistletoe are a common sight here.  They form huge orbs from branches like suspended topiary.  SS says they are an invasive vine that taps into a tree’s sap and prevents nutrients from reaching the trees branches, which eventually kills the tree.  Who knew?


Autun’s cathedral; a Roman church which became a medieval church which became a modern church.  Nets inside help keep the roof from falling on your head–seriously!


The pastoral view from the central square at the cathedral; nice bit of zoning


The medieval wall which borders Autun (the old city, at least) is built on the Roman ramparts; you can see the ancient stone underneath the “old” stone.


This Roman ruin, a portion of the temple to Apollo, is in a piece of private property and serves a very important architectural function: The back wall to the garage.

The author of Here Hare has traveled to over 45 countries on six continents, and has lived in Canada, the UK and Australia.

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