Monday, 16 April 2012

A walk around... Descartes

Descartes is a town in Southern Touraine that we would only normally visit on a Sunday for the market, but recently we had been invited to visit the local Rene Descartes museum (here) and seeing it without the market we thought we should return and walk around it for a better look.

There is a designated town walk which starts in front of the Mairie ...

                                                ...just by the statue of the great man himself.

                                 Rue de Commerce is quite a pretty street devoid of market stalls...

...and the market area itself takes on a whole new look.

Think this is the 'The house with the ballustrade' as described in their 'Discovery trail'

Half-timbered houses continue as you make your way down towards the bridge...

 ...'Le Pont de la Resistance'  

This bridge has always been an important crossing over the river Creuse forming part of the pilgrims route 'Santiago de Compostela' to Spain and as part of the old main route from Paris to Bordeaux. Jim McNeill has a a good article about the bridge  here... in his 'Social history of Touraine' blog.

The river Creuse is pretty impressive at this point and you should take a stroll onto the bridge for a look back towards the town's riverside park and beyond.

Here is the view the other way.

The park is just coming into bloom after its spring manicure ...we felt as if we were the first people to walk on the freshly raked paths - probably were - as there were no other footprints or maybe the attentive gardeners rake up after every visitor!!

Walking back into town looking towards the 'rose garden'

Spotted this 'pillar to post' feature on our walk.

The town throws up the usual mix of housing stock, like many towns and villages of the Loire Valley, perhaps highlighting the different social circumstances of their residents.


One of our favourite houses in the town is that of our friends Cathy and Steve. Its on your right as you enter the town from the Barrou side. It is actually featured in the 'trail' as well as the 'Saint Marc chapel'  which it was originally. It has also spent time as a cafe before being converted into the lovely house it is today,still retaining a few of its original features.

           There are a few 'marked' walks around the town's bordering countryside which we will seek out on future visits.

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