Wednesday 24 July 2019
SatNav offered a toll free route to Angouleme saving 93km, so I opted for it. It ended up taking almost three hours of constant gear changing but, again, the countryside was lovely, with tantalising glimpses of hilltop villages, dramatic castles and chateaux reinforcing my observation that it’s set up to mooch around.
Seeing Angouleme made me wish I’d stopped elsewhere.
Faded glory was the phrase my brain played on repeat. It does not carry its age well.
Standing on a rocky outcrop, from its ramparts it offers great views of not very much, being at the centre of an industrial agglomeration.
It has an old town,
with little character beyond its inconvenience.
There is a Town Hall,
home of the tourist information centre,
that seems constituted of a few buildings, and the cathedral,
the front of which is covered for renovations. And that’s it. I checked out Wikipedia to see what I missed but it says, “Apart from the cathedral and the City Hall, the architecture is of little interest to purists,” and I’m far from a purist.
I did pop into a small gallery on the way in, but it’s music themed exhibition could have been an A-level class project. The town centre was closed or closing by the time I got there and the streets had been given to the beggars, which is not a great first impression.
Amongst other festivals, Angouleme has an annual international cartoon/comic festival. It also has a museum of comics, is supportive of the gaming industry.
I am probably selling Angouleme short, and I did enjoy my ride in along the river Charente, but there you are.