While my friends drive to Champagne early in the morning, I decide to stay in Noyers-sur-Sérein to recover from my cough. I sleep in the morning, get some medicine and some honey toffees from the local pharmacy and then I set out to discover Noyers-sur-Sérein.
This is the town map. Noyers is surrounded by the river Serein. There are remains of the town wall with the gates.
Noyers-sur-Serein is a gorgeous medieval town
This is the southern gate, called “la Porte Peinte”.
There are half-timbered houses – 78 of them are historical monuments from the 13th to th 19th century. The streets are narrow and cobbled …
.. some hidden behind small passages.
Above the town are the ruins of the castle. Like in Châtillon-sur-Seine, this castle has been destroyed by Henry IV. Yes, Henri was the grand-father of Louis XIV and fostered the power of the French king paving the way for his grand-son.
The river Sérein makes a natural water ditch that protects the town on three sides.
The recommended walk outside the city
In front of the southern gate I find a poster that announces signed round walks. They promise houses with dry stone walls which have remained from the vineyards that surrounded Noyers until the late 19th century. After having been hit by the phylloxera, these vineyards have been abandoned, but the dry stone houses are still there. I would like to see them…
… and set out to follow the signs. I can see the village with the surrounding hills that were vineyards.
The next sign directs me into an “impasse” (or “dead-end street”).
I get lost in a large garden with an open gate. I oscillate a bit, and eventually find the sign where I should have turned left (it is all at the bottom and has become faint)..
The sign directs me to this garage. To the left there is private garden and to the right nothing but mud.
The hiking trail is disappearing in the middle of nowhere. This can happen in France. I change my plans. I will surely find a charming place to have a tea or coffee in Noyers.
The “Centre pour les Arts” with the large selection of tea and coffee
The “Centre pour les Arts” is just opposite of the townhall. It is run by a friendly couple. I enter to sit down and enjoy the tasteful ambiance. I order a cup of hot chocolate. “How do you want your hot chocolate, with water or milk?” the owner asks me. “You make hot chocolate with water? Then I want it with water. Like I know it from Mexico, but this is so difficult to get here,” I answer happily. The eyes of the owner shine bright: “So you want to drink the chocolate as it should be, you are a connaisseur.” I sip my hot chocolate with a tasty biscuit. I study the menu. It has coffee from various countries in Latin America (such as Costa Rica) – a great selection. They also have tea. They assign tasting notes, like we do for wine.
I rest, read and recover in this welcoming place that also has good reviews in Tripadvisor. I should perhaps add another review.
“This car does not disturb ME” – a wonderful market appears in Noyers two days later and gives us another charming French experience
Our cars are parked on the Place de la Mairie. I come down in the morning to load my car, because we intend to leave for Beaune today. I notice a lot of activity. A stand is emerging around the car of my Russian friends. “Is this your car”, the stall owner asks me. “No, THAT is my car”, and I point to my Audi. “Cette voiture -là ne me gêne pas”, he says (that car does not disturb me). When Katja comes down to repark her car, the fish seller drives in with his lorry that opens up to become a stall. He frowns at me. I say that I had been told that my car is not in the way. “Well may be your car does not disturb HIM, but THIS is is my place.” he says pointing to my Audi. So, I move my car away as well. More stands are being installed. This is a wonderful small market with local products. We leave nevertheless, as we are have arranged to meet Patrick Piuze in Chablis.