his 1908 visit to Aigues-Mortes and detoured to see his grave in Moreton, today we stood at the site of his twentieth birthday party: Place de la Fontain in the small Haute-Vienne village of Chalus. The Grand Hotel du Midi in which he stayed is no longer there, but we saw an elegant fountain which probably was and the plaque pictured below proudly commemorates the occasion. Lawrence visited Chalus in the same year as Aigues-Mortes and, according to Wikipedia, was "tracing the route of Richard I of England ... in preparation for his thesis: The Influence of the crusades on European military architecture at the end of the XIIth century". Sounds fascinating!
Richard I - Richard Coeur de Lion - Richard The Lionheart
|Ruined chateau in Chalus|
We got to Chalus by cycling along a Voie Verte that passes close by our campsite. Today being a sunny Sunday it was quite busy with other cyclists and walkers. There is a distinct uphill slope for most of the way to Chalus, but coming back is a corresponding downhill freewheel! The Voie Verte is a dismantled railway line and I liked that the station buildings have been retained along the way. Some are now private houses, but the one at Chalus is an information centre about the route. (Sadly closed today) There are bike racks by the playground on the far side of the centre so we locked our bikes up and explored on foot.
We both liked Chalus as it contains interesting buildings,