The gates of Provins

Finally, after 25 years in this corner of France, we made it to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Provins for a “beat-the-heat” hike first thing on a Sunday morning when temperatures were forecast to hit 40°C. A great, easy 14-km hike from the ramparts of Provins into the surrounding countryside, and then back to the mediaeval “ville haute”, mostly through fields and small villages, with one amazingly kitsch giant rabbit gatepost along the way. We didn’t exactly beat the heat (we should have started walking at 7 rather than at 8:30 AM) but it was never truly oppressive until returning to the car after lunch at around 2 PM. One word of advice if you do this hike and book a restaurant for lunch: pick a place in the “ville haute”. I unwittingly booked in the lower town, which added a fair few kilometres to the 14 of the hike and we were closer to 20 km when we finally made it back to the car.


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