Thursday, April 26, 2012


I have been "collecting" belfroi along the way.  These are a common site in this part of France.  Their carrilions ring out in the towns as I go through.  I have been lucky enough to hear some "concerts" in some places and in others I hear them ringing out the hour or part thereof.  When this happen though, there is likely to be a clash of sounds at some point as the nearby clock is also likely to have some sort of chime ansd so there can be quite a deluge of sound at times! 

 The view from the Belfroi of the Grande place, Arras, with the market spread throughout.  The market spread out into the streets beyond, and in the square behind too. 
                                                   The same view - but from street level. 
Many of these houses around the square were destroyed in the (1st) War, and have been faihfully restored.
                                                   The Town Hall and Belfroi, Arras

I climbed the belfroi in Arras - what a mistake!  I was fine at the bottom and at the top - it was just getting there!  The lift up to the bottom of the stairs was OK but the 40 steps after that were for me terrifying - not so much the going up, but the thought of coming down.  Added to that I somehow managed to get caught up in a group of German tourists.  I went in the lift with the first 6, had a quick look at the town from the top, and the massive market that had arrived in the early hours of the morning, and then headed back down, knowing that somewhere on the tiny spiral staircase I was going to meet another 6 Germans coming up! I didn't take my eyes off the the stairs going down, because I was fearful of the massive drop down!  I managed to get to a stopping point and waited for the 6 clomping their way up the stairs before dashing down and catching the return lift.  My one and only belfroi visit I am afraid - I will admire them from the ground in future, though I am just about out of the area where these lovely landmarks are. 

The first belfroi I saw - the Town Hall and Belfroi in Calais


  1. Great to read your blog and see your photos. Interesting to read the history of the places you are visiting and that you were challenged by descending from the belfroi in Arras. 99.9% of the population would be challenged by your massive 2,200 km undertaking. All the best as you continue your adventure. We will be following your itinerary and reading your blog with great interest. Good luck! Isabel (and Bruce)

  2. Thank you Janet for the great history lessons and amazing photos. Hope your ankle has recovered. An truly amazing journey and when we read your what is in your thoughts as well it all comes to life. It is ALMOST like we are there with you only you can keep the cold chill factor. Hope the weather gets warmer for you.
    Glenis and Michael