Day 38 – Walking the Via Francigena – A Sightseeing Day In Besançon, France

Day 38 – Walking the Via Francigena – A Sightseeing Day In Besançon, France

It was a sunny morning in Besançon.
On the river, people were kayaking and paddle boarding.
Kids were zip lining across the river and people were strolling down the streets.
It was hard to believe that this lovely weather would turn into rain later in the day.

Victor Marie Hugo, the French poet and novelist of the Romantic movement, was born in Besançon.
His old house, where he was born, is now a museum in the city.

It is easy to see how this city inspired him to write his most famous works, like “Les Misérables,” (written in 1862) and “The Hunchback of Notre-Dame,” (written in 1831).

The Besançon cathedral is situated above an impressive Roman stone gate and below the Citadel, a massive fortress that towers over the city.

We walked the streets of the city, visited the parks, walked up the steep road to the citadel and visited the Saint John cathedral.

One of the interesting places we visited was an old hospital that was once established for the sole purpose of helping pilgrims to Rome and to Jerusalem.
This hospital had a herbal medicine apothecary, which included large ornate ceramic vases, each with a different herb or mineral salt in them.
Medicine at that time was only herbal, and the nuns knew how to revive the sick pilgrims.

Next to it was a small chapel called “The Chapel of Our Lady of Refuge.”
It was a house for girls of ill repute who wished to change their ways and lead more virtuous lives.

We ate a fabulous brunch in the Öst Cafe with fresh juices and avocado toast, and idled away the rest of the day at the very popular Citronnade Cafe, drinking tea and reclining on the sofas.

It was a very restful day for pilgrims like us, with achy feet and sore backs.
Rest days are important, even if all you do is lay in bed and read books.
Tomorrow we have a long day of walking and lots of climbing to get out of Besançon.

With sweet dreams,
Tali

Today’s Stats:
Daily Steps – 14,384 Steps
7 hours of walking
Active walking time – 4 hours
Daily Kilometers – 11 Km
Total Kilometers walked from Canterbury UK – 852.5 km

Accommodation:
Hôtel de Paris in Besançon
A centrally located hotel with an artistic design and very comfortable rooms.

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