Argonne and Ardennes (2)

From Varenne we cycle to the north. A few steep climbs announce the Ardennes, but after that it goes down again for a while and then steadily rises again. The end point montmédy has an old citadel on top of the mountain, where the campsite is located next to. Due to a lucky wrong turn we drive around the mountain to the town to do some shopping.

It's 13.25. Super U appears to be closed all day due to exceptional circumstances. The Aldi nearby from 1 pm. All bakeries are also closed! It is August 15th and Mary's Ascension. In a bar that is open we have a drink and score the last 3 croissants. We climb to the campsite; 1km long 13%! Just when we want to give up courage, we go around the last corner and we see that we are almost at the top. With the last forces we know how to accomplish that by bike and we roll onto the campsite. We look for a spot in the shade and discuss the options for dinner. It is also Monday, so normally not many restaurants would be open, how much chance do we have now? In the town we saw a pizza machine (ready in 30 seconds), but that does not appeal to us and not only because of that climb. At Tessel's suggestion we walk to the citadel. It is a solid fortification of which we find out with some difficulty that it is a Vauban thing (late 17th century). At some point, the military objective was abandoned and civilian occupation allowed.

That must have been some time ago because we find a considerable amount of dilapidated buildings, but in addition to and between also a number of refurbished houses and other brave attempts to make something of it (again). The casemates are mainly used for art studios and shops, all closed of course. At the very end we hear music and we are people sitting on a terrace. There appears to be a stretch (which is open!). They appear to be open until 8 p.m. We started walking without a wallet, so we have to go back. An hour later we still enjoy a bag of chips, a nice snack board, a cesar salad and a piece of fruit pie. The next morning we cycle without luggage to gangs to get bread and have breakfast at the top of the tent before we pick up again and travel further.

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