Walking The Via Francigena, Stage 31: Bar-sur-Aube to Clairvaux

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:

Although today was the second half of our two-day “zero day”, we still needed to walk 15-plus kilometers to the day’s destination, Clairvaux. We’ve been aware over the last few days that the landscape is changing from a near-flat terrain to an increasingly rolling one. Today that change was very apparent, starting with a major climb out of Bar-sur-Aube, a rapid descent to the small community of Baroville and then up through hills lined with vineyards. It was a day that put our untested prairie legs to the test…and we survived!

We arrived at Clairvaux and our hotel lodging for the night at noontime and, following a good lunch, we headed to the nearby Clairvaux Abbey—which, intriguingly, is also a maximum security prison dating back to Napolean I—for a tour of this semi-dilapidated, semi-restored Cistercian abbey. To find out more, listen to our discussion below.

Walk Date: Sep 26, 2022

Distance: 17.3 km

Elevation Gain: 450 m

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

Today’s Second Soundscape: Gail and I discuss our tour of the Abbaye-Prison de Clairvaux.

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).

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