After the hinterlands of the southern portion of the Canal entre Champagne et Bourgogne, Langres, a commune with less than 10,000 people, seemed like a major metropolitan area. Langres has supermarkets and restaurants, something we hadn’t seen for some time. Absence makes the heart grow fonder; it was now easy to ignore the fact that the supermarket was up the hill some distance away from the canal. At least we could buy fresh food once again.
Better yet, Langres has its namesake cheese. The soft, slight pungent cows milk cheese is said to be best from May to August. Fromage de Langres is widely available through France. Like many things, the best Langres cheese we tried came from its place of origin. It probably helped that we were sampling the cheese near “peak fromage” in late June.
Beyond the shopping, the hill town of Langres is a popular destination for European tourists. (The commune doesn’t quite make it on the vacation time challenged American tourist’s radar.) Langres’ main attractions are the 3.5 kilometer-long defensive walls that encircle the historic center and its cathedral, Cathédrale Saint-Mammès de Langres. It is possible to circumnavigate the city on the top of its walls. Indeed, once our hearts stopped pounding in our ears after climbing up to the hill town from the canal, we could appreciate the splendid view of the surrounding countryside from the top of the ramparts.
(Wanderlust reached Langres on the 22nd of June 2015 and tied up at the halte nautique. Note that this is technically a fully serviced mooring, the electricity feed is anemic and only on for a few hours each day. Mooring is free so there can be no complaints!)