Ruth – After a long day yesterday, today we just had a short 10km up to the fortified city of Laon. It is wonderful to be back in a Medieval world with twenty first century comforts. Nous sommes bien enstaller dans le hotel des Chevalliers( I love that expression). To be well installed anywhere in France makes it sound like a more permanent arrangement.

Laon is fantastic, with a 12th century gothic Cathedral that is truly inspiring. It did in fact inspire others including Chartres and Notre Dame de Paris. This cathedral should really be called Notre Vache for its bigger than life oxen guarding the towers. Apparently when two oxen were struggling with their load of building stone during the construction of the cathedral another ox magically appeared to help out and then promptly disappeared once the load was delivered.

Speaking of cows, at our restaurant today I complemented the patron on the pepper sauce and he proceeded to give me the details of the recipe. I told him that it was difficult to find creme fresh in Canada and he asked, “What, you don’t have cows there?” It was a lovely steak dinner; I had mine rare and Gord had his blue. There has been quite a lot of raw meat eating this trip. I am starting to see the attraction as long as they are not still mooing.

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