Today my destination was the place I used to live, the place I moved to when I came to France, a house in a town which I lived in longer than any house I’d lived in since I was 10.
Senlis is not on a train line (any more). It stays that way to avoid becoming a dormitory town. It’s known as being hyper conservative and catholic. There’s a big ‘cathedral’ (everyone calls it the cathedral, but it actually isn’t a cathedral as there is no bishop any more), a castle and a load of Roman remains (including an amphitheatre and quite a bit of the Roman fortified wall). To a girl from Lancashire with a history fetish, it was a dream place to live.
It was the administrative centre of a huge Roman province and its name comes from the name of the original tribe – the Silvanectes, so-called because of living in the woods. Just to the North, a temple was found in the 19th century where they found loads of ex-voto offerings in the shape of body parts – they’re on display at the museum in Senlis now. Obviously it was a healing sanctuary.
My journey took in fields and forests. I passed Versigny (and got a great view of the château from an angle I’d never seen before – see the feature image at the top of the post), before skirting Baron and Montlognon.
There were more people in the forest between the Abbaye de Chaalis and Senlis than I’ve seen since about the 15 March.
After lunch, I was suffering from the normal foot fatigue, but nevertheless enjoyed the light and airy forest, really different from the one between Nanteuil and Crépy. The aromatic and spicy scent of the pines as well as the height of the trees with all that space in between them really makes me think of Scandinavia and elves.