Un Petit Voyage a Chambery

We're a bit behind on our little excursions, but a few weeks ago, we took the train to the closest biggish city to our own, namely Chambery, capital of the Savoie department, which is where we live (akin to a small state, or maybe a big county).  Two of our friends from our training this past spring in Colorado are studying French there, in preparation for work in Burkina Faso, and we were glad for a chance to visit them.

Mostly, the kids were glad to get to ride the train, as seen below.

 We have had an uncanny number of rainy days on the days that we are not in school and this was one of them.  However, after a lovely lunch at Don and Janet's apartment, we took a little tour of the city.  The old town is very cool and here is some of the towers and the chapel of the old castle of the Duke of Savoie.

The small walking spaces of old Europe are probably my favorite feature, because they speak of a time before cars and highways.  However, they are notoriously difficulty to photograph with any satisfaction.  Maggie is in this picture to give a little feel for how narrow the street is.

This little timbered "covered bridge" crosses the walking street.  I guess Chambery used to have a lot of these, but they were largely removed as a fire hazard, but this one has remained.  The city is an odd mix of old juxtaposed with new, and it sounds like much of this is due to damage from WWII, with new buildings built where old ones were bombed.

A well-known feature of the town is this fountain with four elephants.  When it's on, water comes out the trunks of the elephants.  Apparently, it commemorates Hannibal crossing the Alps with elephants, but I don't know more of the story than that.  There was a carousel adjacent on which Maggie took a ride with great delight.

Maggie with Don and Janet.  Thankfully, Ben napped right up until the time for our return trip.

And lastly, a bit of graffiti as a brief commentary on modern french religious belief: