My Travel Blog

The Amphitheater For No One

After a second visit to Guedelon it was time to head back to Montargis.  On our way we stopped in Montbouy.  The village wasn’t much to look at, but we noticed a sign pointing to a Roman amphitheater.  How exciting! We did a little checking and found out it was just down the road, so we set off along a busy highway without sidewalks or a traffic median.  We walked at least a couple of miles and still couldn’t find the elusive amphitheater.  Eventually we made a sharp left, and headed off into the French countryside.

“The sign telling us there was a Roman Amphitheater not far from town.”

It didn’t take long for Lisa and Lovita to find a cornfield to play in.  Of course Scott had to join them.  Like a bunch of kids they ran around playing hide and seek between the rows. Of course I had to stand guard waiting for the farmer to come along with his shotgun.

Wherever we go in France there are fields of corn.  That may be a bit if an exaggeration. I have never seen a cornfield in Paris, but outside of Paris they’re all over the place.  With all that corn you would think they would have some fresh corn in the markets.  Well they don’t.  The French don’t eat fresh corn.   They also don’t feed it to their cows.  Cows are feed grass, or hay or whatever, but they don’t give them corn.  So where does it all go?

Corn is for pigs.  Except we never saw any pigs other than the few they had at Guedelon.  It was a rare day that we didn’t see the beautiful white Charolais cows grazing in a lush green pasture, but we never saw a pig farm.  I know the French love their pork, but I haven’t a clue where they raise it!

“Lisa hiding in the cornfield.”

“Scott hiding in the cornfield. What happened to Lovita?”

The following day, while cruising down the Canal de Briare, we spotted the 6,000 person amphitheater we had tried to find, but there wasn’t much to see.  I wanted to know where the city that went with the theater was?  The Romans didn’t just build a huge amphitheater in the middle of nowhere, and yet there weren’t any other ruins in the area.

“The first century amphitheater we had been looking for.”

“Fall leaves along the Canal de Briare.”

Our next stop was a small non-descript village that looked a little tired.  You might remember a picture of me, in one of my previous blogs, standing next to the front door of an old home that was ornately carved and only five feet high.  We went back to that home with Scott and Lovita, but this time the door was open.  We peeked in and found a construction crew hard at work.  A young man, who spoke English, asked if he could help us.  We explained how we had admired the house from the outside, and were just wondering what was going on.  The young man told us that he had just bought the home, and was in the process of remodeling it so that he and his family could live there. He then invited us in.  He took us on a half hour tour telling us about all the changes and improvements he was going to make.  We plan to stop by next summer, check out the finished product, and say hello to our new friend.

“Checking out a 500 year old home.”

“Our new friend and his house. Note the door height.”

“Scott hard at work opening a lock.”

“Fall flowers.”

-Tom Miller
Author of “The Wave” – 
a Chuck Palmer Adventure novel


About the Author:

Tom Miller graduated from the University of Southern California with a Bachelor of Science in Geology. He is a consummate adventurer with over 1,000 dives as a recreational scuba diver, and an avid sailor who has traveled 65,000 miles throughout the Pacific including the Hawaiian Islands. Miller has also cruised the canals of Europe on his canal barge and given numerous lectures on cruising the canals of Europe, as well as sailing in the South Pacific. Piloting is also an interest of Miller's, and He has completed over 1,000 hours flying everything from small Cessnas to Lear jets.