Walking The Via Francigena, Stage 30: Dolancourt to Bar-sur-Aube

This “Walking The Via Francigena” series of posts follow us, David and Gail, as we continue our walk along the Via Francigena pilgrimage route between Canterbury and Rome. In the fall of 2019, we completed the first leg from London to Canterbury, known as the Chaucer Way, and onward to the small town of Tergnier, France on the Via Francigena. A pandemic got in the way but now, in 2022, our trek is underway once again, this time taking us from Tergnier to Besançon over 23 walking days and 580 or so kilometres.

Notes from today’s walk:

We try to break our walks into five day cycles with a day off between each cycle, something we call a zero day. Of course, we hope those zero days will plant us somewhere interesting to explore on our free day. Today, is what we call a half zero day, meaning we walked a short distance in the morning from Dolancourt to Bar-sur-Aube and explored the city for the remainder of the day. Tomorrow we will repeat the process with a morning walk and an afternoon to explore our next destination. In other words, our one zero day will be split over two days.

The photos capture our morning walk, almost entirely under a heavy sky and dense fog. Our trail dropped us into Bar-sur-Aube, a pretty medieval city. But this is Sunday and, as counterpoint to the pilgrim’s consternation that nothing is open on Sundays, we found ourselves in the midst of a grand fair running the full length of the city’s mainstreet. There were the latest model of Peugeots, Renaults and other cars on display, giant tractors, amusement rides, food stalls and, our favorite, a champagne fair with very local producers sampling their wares in the handsome old market building.

Beyond the fair, Bar-sur-Aube offers an impressive city to explore with twisting narrow streets lined with half-timbered buildings. Its main church, Église Saint-Pierre is an imposing 12 C. structure but it is particularly notable due to the attached halloy. This remarkable 14 C. wood structure, which hangs on the exterior church walls, was the historic home for the city’s champagne fair. Just as religious pilgrims, such as Sigeric, would visit this church on their way to Rome, so too did traders from across Europe setting up stalls under the halloy’s shed roof to ply their wares.

Walk Date: Sep 25, 2022

Distance: 13.4 km

Elevation Gain: 361 m

Read on to view today’s photos, a soundscape captured along the route and an interactive map.

Today’s Soundscape: A Sunday afternoon street festival, Bar-sur-Aube.
While looking at the photos below, you can listen to this binaural (hyper-realistic stereo) sound recording. For best results, use headphones or earbuds for a full binaural sound experience.

Click the images below to view a full-screen slideshow.

Today’s route.

Click the map to open an interactive version on AllTrails.com (opens in a new window).

Overview map of the route from Tergnier to Besançon.

Overview map of Tergnier to Besançon route.
Click the map to open an interactive version on AllTrails.com (opens in a new window).

3 thoughts on “Walking The Via Francigena, Stage 30: Dolancourt to Bar-sur-Aube

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  1. Absolutely my favourite photos – the shrouding fogginess, the mystical countryside, attentive cows, exquisite town streets and buildings – hey, what the heck are you guys eating!! Fantastic soundscape!! Really wonderful!! Thank you!! Have a good rest!!


    1. Thanks Gloria. We went to a Moroccan restaurant at lunch. Gail is eating a chicken couscous dish and I have a lamb and fig tagine. The staff was very proud of their authentic Moroccan cuisine, which was very good. Wish we had Moroccan restaurant in Winnipeg!

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