Standing in the town and looking up, up, up at the La Citadelle d’Entrevaux in Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur is mondo intimidating! Well, lets face it, they kind of designed it to be that, right? Medieval fighting and such.
The 3 of us looked at each other as if to say, “Ok then, it is either up or we say the hell with it and go have a coffee. It is time to shit or get off the pot.”
Well of course the Westies are all like ” yesyesyesnownownow we can do it yes we can!”
So I figure if they’re game on their little 5″ stumps-for-legs, then I’ve got to represent for humans, right?
We entered through the ancient gate house and brought our token (dogs and kids free!) and into the walled medieval village. Walking on cobble stones laid in the 11th century, along narrow street, barely wide enough for 3 abreast (much easier to defend, right?).
With the help of a local I managed to get my token to work and somehow got through the big turnstile, resembling an instrument of torture. The dogs definitely did not approve. After a quick pee break for everyone and the first of Bogart’s #2s we started our march upward… ok marching may be overstating our speed. I had been warned me that Bogart has a 3 X #2 rule and sure enough – 3 separate poo stops. And that’s not counting the 153 pee stops to obliterate the competition’s scent… 900 years worth! And of course me stopping to catch my breath/take a picture. Suffice to say, we didn’t break any speed limits.
On the way up I could hear children laughing and playing and I looked through the slits in the wall down to the school ground where the students were enjoying a reprieve from their studies. I had a Outlander type moment when I realized that their ancestors had stood at these slits hundreds of years ago defending the town.
The steep climb was well worth the effort — the engineering skill, the design brilliance, not to mention the killer view over the valley! Hell, did anyone ever manage to take this thing? The answer is yes, in 1536 but it took one of their own to turn traitor to get it done.
The digs at the top weren’t 4 star but maybe with some nice tapestries and hand-woven rugs and roaring fires they might not be so bad. H G TV could work wonders with it. The teensy jail cells had crazy-ass views but beds of cement.
We discovered a lovely courtyard at the back with trees and grass; a relief from the endless stone of the edifice. It had a walkway at the top of the surrounding wall allowing soldiers a view of the woods which harboured the secret path down to the village so the people could sneak supplies up during sieges. We started down that way but it was covered in coarse gravel that bothered the buds’ feet so we returned the way we came.
Later, in the charming village across from the citadel, we had a well deserved cappuccino/ water while we smugly gazed up to where we had climbed. I am not a huge culture junky but I was glad I had gotten to scale this piece of history with my good pals Bogart and Pud.