2017 E5 walk, day 51: Verneuil-sur-Avre (zero-day)

Section 11, Day 51
low 59 °F
high 82 °F
16,906 steps
6.5 miles

I got up, returned the room key, and headed across the plaza to the Café de la Paix for decaf and croissants. After that, I stopped by the church and put a donation in the box.

The hotel didn’t open for checkins until mid-afternoon, so I started the day by following a self-guided tour of Verneuil.

To the west-southwest stand two buildings at an angle to us.  The near one is stone, two stories plus a roof with gables; part of the ground floor and all the upper floors are a pattern of small squares, pale, red, and black.  A turret stands out from the nearest corner.  The farther building is another story taller, brick with pale stone; the windows above the doors have wrought-iron balconies, while many of the rest have flower boxes.  In front of the buildings is a cobblestone space, sloping down from the far building to the near.  The sky is partly cloudy.
Verneuil’s library.
North is a wide half-timbered building, or perhaps three similar ones close together.  They are three stories tall plus roof, with each section (or building) having two windows on each of the top floors, and a window and one or two doors on the ground floor of each.  The timbers look old and cracked, and few of them look level or even.  The space between timbers is pale, probably plaster.  Two cars are parked in front; we see the edges of the adjacent buildings to either side, perhaps in better repair.
This timber house is older than any building in Seattle.
To the southeast is a stone building, two or three stories plus a tall roof; we see its front to our right, and a side to the left.  The spire in the back suggests that it might once have been a church, but there is no cross on it.  The front has two movie posters hanging over the sidewalk, along with a small sign reading “Cinema”.  A narrow road runs along the side; a white building is across the road, and a brick-and-plaster building on its other side.
Oh, this? Just a centuries-old church that’s now a movie theatre, playing Pirates of the Caribbean.

After the tour, I ate lunch (not too much this time!) and then strolled the town some more.

A brick-and-plaster building is close to the west.  We can see the top of a window (the bricks above it form a gentle arch), and the bottom of the window on the floor above.  To the left is a street sign reading “Rue de la Fontaine Minérale” (“Mineral Spring Road”), while a metal plaque with embossed writing is mounted between the windows.
La mendicité est interdite dans le Département de l’Eure” (“Begging is prohibited in the Department of the Eure”). My French co-worker Mickaël and I dated this sign to the late 1800s.

Eventually I visited the medieval festival, the reason I hadn’t been able to find a room the previous night. It was entirely charming.

A man with a grey moustache and beard, dressed in vaguely medieval clothes, brandishes the head of a pole hammer before an attentive audience.  He is standing behind a table with more than two dozen assorted arrows and bolts, and more weaponry is leaning against the tree behind him.  In the background is another tree, and a pavilion tent with more people under it.  The ground is beaten grass and dirt.
This guy was demonstrating assorted weaponry; he looked a bit like Gary Gygax, though without quite the same fixation on pole arms.

I checked into the Hôtel du Saumon at mid-afternoon, after which I took refuge from the day’s heat in the laundromat. I then scouted bou­lan­ge­ries for the next morning, and restocked on groceries.

By the time I was done, the town was clearing out. Many restaurants had closed after the festival (I assume in exhaustion), and I ended up eating dinner a couple doors down from the hotel at Pizza Plus. Afterwards, I strolled the town a little more, and then slept well.