Day 8 - Sunday 17th November
Heavy mist hanging around when we got our tickets for the Citadelle when it opened at 10am. We were going to wander round on our own until one of the tour guides inside said that she would be doing a tour at noon for the English speakers. We changed our plans then & headed down to the town on the very welcome cable car to visit the tourist office.
At the bottom of the cable car we landed right beside the cathedral & as the service there was not due to start till 11am we dropped in for a look round. The most impressive feature was the tall stain glazed window on one of the transepts. Although it was nice to stand on the big grill in the floor that was pumping hot air up to warm the place.
At the tourist office across the river we obtained our town map & the lady there pointed out a couple of interesting spots for us to visit. The first was a monument to 674 towns people who were just slaughtered by German troops on 23rd August 1914 when they captured the town & the citadelle. Some of their troops had been killed by French troops defending the town but the German soldiers wreaked a terrible revenge simply executing men women & children in revenge. The names of the dead are cut into the great steel triangular shaped monument that stands alongside the river.
The towns main claim to fame is that Adolph Sax who invented the saxophone was born here. The small Sax House Museum contains lots of information detailing the invention of the saxophone & includes samples of the weird instruments that developed into the modern saxophone. Apart from the museum itself the town has colourful saxophones dotted everywhere, in shop windows & even hanging from lampposts across the bridge.
We did come across a statue of General Degaulle who was shot here defending the bridge across the Meuse before we headed back to the cable car to return up to the citadelle at the top. We could have taken the 408 steps but as the ticket for the citadelle included the use of the cable car it seemed silly to struggle up the steps. Back at the top we joined the tour guide who also had to point out the various features & explain them in three languages. An interesting tour with some great views down over the town.
We decided then to have lunch in the motorhome before heading South along the Meuse & into France to where the Semois river joins it from the East. It has been a pretty ride along the Meuse so hopefully the Semois river will be as nice as it takes us back into Belgium & across to Luxembourg. I think I got flashed by a speed camera somewhere along the way. I had been drifting along admiring the scenery with the cruise control set at 35mph well below the usual speed limits but I must have missed a 30mph sign somewhere as I caught a flash as we passed some houses. Stupid SatNav never warned about it!
We stopped the night at a lovely free Aire in Bogny Sur Meuse still in France right down by the river. It was late afternoon by the time we got there but we had enough daylight left to do a it of exploring around the town. We came across signs pointing up the hill to “ Les Quatre Fils Aymon” so off we went to see what was there. After slogging our way all the way up to the top we came to a park with a big statue on a mound overlooking the town below. It was there commemorating a medieval tale about four brothers & a magic horse.
It was getting dark by then so we hoofed it back down the hill to the motorhome for dinner & a warm up. It has been fine but cold all day. No life anywhere in the village so another night in with our faithful TV & books.
Mileage today - 51
Total mileage - 531