Day 23 – Walking the Via Francigena – Châlons-en-Champagne to Chaussée-sur-Marne, France – A Beautiful Walk by the Canal

Day 23 – Walking the Via Francigena – Châlons-en-Champagne to Chaussée-sur-Marne, France – A Beautiful Walk by the Canal

Today was a much easier walk for us.
The sun was shining and the path was very scenic all day long.

I slept well last night, and this morning we had breakfast at a cafe in the center of town.
It was a simple French breakfast, a croissant, a small orange juice and a coffee or tea.

We sat among the many locals who seem to come to this place regularly.
None of them was fussing with their smart phones like what we see everywhere in the USA or Japan.
People were jovially talking to one another, one man was painting in watercolors a landscape scene, single people were reading books or the newspaper.

Next door, in an elegant bakery, we bought an organic seeded baguette and two Pan Au Chocolat for lunch.
It is safer to take a lunch with us than to rely on small rural restaurants along the way being open when we get there.

Rural restaurants and even bakeries have very strict opening hours, and since we are walking, we cannot be sure we will get there on time.
As it turned out, we had guessed right, and we ended up eating our packed lunch in stages, resting in the grass on the side of the river or the canal.

We left town via Jard park, then walked south all day long, along a canal and a creek.
Part of the way was on a narrow path through a beautiful forest, full of vines, trees and climbers.
I was almost expecting to see tiny fairies and green leprechauns…

Then the path meandered by the canal paralleling the river Marne.
Both the historic canal, which was used for transport, and the river Marne, were instrumental in the shaping of the towns that sprouted up along their banks.

The walk was so scenic that I found it easier to walk today.
My feet felt less achy, and I enjoyed the silence and the songs of birds.
There were a few cyclists along the path, but mostly it was empty.
We saw no other walkers or hikers.

By the end of the day we arrived at our charming country hotel.
Our stay included dinner and breakfast, which was a blessing since there is not much else around.

The room is small, but the bathroom and shower are huge.
I took a hot shower and then a bath to relax my muscles.
Then I took a short nap before dinner.

I had no expectations of the dinner, and was amazed at the quality of the food.
We were served a gourmet meal of three courses, each created using superb ingredients and masterfully crafted.
We savored every bite, enjoying the local specialities so well made.

The amuse-bouche was a foamy red pepper mousse, served with freshly baked bread.
Then we had a local warm crusted goat cheese with roasted eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes and grilled zucchini with a small salad.

For the main course we had fresh Hake fish grilled with a light and foamy garlic aioli, sweet roasted carrots, summer zucchini and potatoes.

For dessert we tried the strawberry and rhubarb cheese cake and baked peach and apricot slices with a lemony peach sherbet.
Our meals were divine.

With full stomachs we waddled back to our room in our soft slipper shoes.
These are very soft black shoes that we take on pilgrimages so we do not have to put on our hiking shoes again in the evening.
They fold into a tiny size and feel like ballet shoes without the hard toes, but if people do not look too hard, they look like black shoes.
The restaurant was very full tonight, so thankfully nobody looked at our shoes.

Our bathroom has a towel drier, so the hiking clothes we washed by hand tonight will surely dry for tomorrow.

I am so hopeful that we can come upon more places like this one at the end of the day.
It makes the long day of walking feel so rewarding….

With blessings and light,

Today’s Stats:
6.5 hours of walking
Active walking time – 5.5 hours
Daily Steps – 31,222
Daily Kilometers – 23 Km
Total Kilometers walked from Canterbury UK – 488 km

Logis Hôtel Clos de Mutigny, on the Le Fion creek, a tributary of the Marne river in La Chaussée-sur-Marne

2 Comments on “Day 23 – Walking the Via Francigena – Châlons-en-Champagne to Chaussée-sur-Marne, France – A Beautiful Walk by the Canal”

  1. The best bit of my day is looking at your photos and imagining the walk
    and what you experience. I’ve loved all your observations since finding
    your blog. THANK YOU !

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