Another beautiful weekend in La Manche ! Lots of sunshine and warm temperatures. On Saturday, I went for another short hike around the town of Lestre. This particular hike was called Randonnée le circuit du Bouillon which roughly translates as the walk around the boiling rapids--an interesting name since there are no rapids to be seen along the streams you have to cross and they are certainly not boiling. The hike begins in Lestre at the foot of the church of St-Martin, with a typical Normandy saddleback bell tower and doorways that date from the 13th century. Inside is a triple aisle nave with two side chapels. I thought the baptismal font was one of the most interesting pieces since it was intricately carved and adorned with quotes from the Bible. Above the choir is a “pouter de gloire” or rood screen which separates the main altar from the rest of the church. Above the main altar is a wonderful oil painting of the Three Wise Men at the Nativity. On either side are statues of Saint-Martin and Saint John the Baptist. I couldn’t find any more information about the church but as you can see, it has several nice chapels: one dedicated to the Virgin and another to Saint-Martin. There is also a stained glass window from 1927 created in the workshops of Charles Lorin from Chartes. Across the street is the hôtel de ville with its newly restored arches. The hiking path takes you through farmers’ fields along poorly kept paths lined with wildflowers and weeds. At times, one can get a fairly decent view of the Tourville castle, a private residence built in the 18th century by Jean-Louis Avice de Tourville . Just 400 meters away along a path marked private property is the most important motte féodale (motte-and-bailey castle) in Normandy. It dates from the 10th century and is in need of some restoration—the roof has collapsed and it is covered with vines. At one point, you have to cross a river called la Sinope which empties into the sea at Quinéville. Just beside the passerelle is another stone bridge which was also marked as private property. It is still too early in the summer to see roadways and country lanes full of foxglove, but there are a few areas where they are starting to bloom. Passing the Moulin de Rey, there are several old manor houses and stone farm buildings. What do you think of my new shirt ? I bought it on Friday at H&M during sales week--got a whole new summer wardrobe for under 90 Euros ! The trickiest part of the walk is a 200 meter stretch along the la Sinope where the path is actually just a trek along the riverside through mud and overgrown shrubs. This last bridge is called le pont bleu but its name has nothing to do with the color blue. By the time I finished walking, it was almost 2pm and I was getting rather hungry. Fortunately, I packed a lunch with me and decided to drive to the old ruins of the Chapelle St-Michel where I sat and had my lunch. The chapel of Saint-Michel is actually a ruin from the first third of the 12th century. The chapel depended on the abbey of Blanchelande and was first mentioned in writings from 1160. After the French Revolution, it was sold and its remaining stones were looted. The apse decorated with corbels of animal and human faces. These are two of the broken arches that formed the aisle. This is a statue of the Holy Trinity. Within the transept is a Gothic chapel with several statues including those of St-Côme and St-Damien as well as a recumbent effigy along one of the walls. Other statues are only fragments such as this one of St-Jacques. Through a small window in the apse, one has a good view of the sea. This same window is formed with stones laid out in a pattern called arête-de-poisson, or fish bones.