Mont Sinai - 283 m, Bois de Wattigny - 284 m
Trip Report

No 11 and 12 on my list of the 96 highpoints of the French departments. I was on my way back from Reims, where I had participated in the meetings of the American Association of Wine Economists. Therefore I was still slightly hung over when I rose fairly early on this Sunday morning. However, I was not off to some fun mountain adventures yet, but had to drive Julian Alston to the airport. He had been sick for a couple of days now, too sick actually to participated in any of the conference activities the poor bloke, and I made sure that he was on the train back to Roissy in Paris to catch his plane back to the US.
This has worked out allright and shortly before 8 I was on my way south to the small Champagne town of Verzy in whose vicinity I had now problems locating the parking area for the short hike to the high point of the Marne departement: Mont Sinai. It was only about a 10 minutes walk on a clearly labeled pass and once at the high point I was already to turn around. However, I forced myself to imagine what one could see in the winter or in the spring with a bit less haze around. Or maybe on a nice day just after the rain. Anyway through the haze (or maybe it was a mixture with dust) I could see the outlines of a few hills on the horizon and a nice valley full of vinyards inbetween. I returned to the car soon after my arrival at the highpoint and drove back to Reims and then North following the instructions I had programmed into may GPS. I like driving through this hilly part of Northern France. A bunch of nice little villages, few major towns and somehow the whole area seemed to be far from the beaten track of any tourist.
I aimed at the town of Fligny, from where I could find the supposed highpoint of the Aisne department (in the Bois de Wattigny) with the help of a few detailed maps I had printed out on google. The actual high point was behind a wooden barrier and I therefore had to walk for about 3 minutes. Not exactly knowing where the highpoint was located (there was no marker and the surrounding area looked little lower), I decided that I had arrived and was soon back at the car after taking a few unspectacular pics of what was clearly nothing special to anyone but me.
At around 11:30 I was back in Namur where I was glad to see Anselm and Alma (now nearly 5 months old) and of course Catherine.

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This page was last updated: Thu July 2 2009