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Travelogue F45

October 23, 2015

Unsure of my next steps, I took in a coffeeshop the better part of an hour to sip at a coconut milk cloud huddled at the bottom of my coffee and to read more on the idiorhythmic communities of Mount Athos. In time, I emerged to renew my circling of the old city.

Some time later, this circling came to an end at a considerable stretch of green where I stopped to rest my weary feet and continue with my reading. Coming to a small ledge, I dangled my legs over and paid the depression before me no more mind that that. With my reading and the afternoon drew to a close. As I rose to my feet, curiosity got the better of me, and I skirted the depression to examine more closely some freestanding panels before which other visitors pooled.

Reading, I soon learned that the depression’s sides marked the inner and outer bounds of the old city wall, the base of which still stood some meter or two in height, depending on the place, and upon which I had spent the past hour reading. Testimony from historical architecture specialists expressed their worry over the wall’s authenticity and the are taken to replace degraded stones with loose ones found nearby, or, in more serious cases, with new stones cut to purpose in local quarries. In addition, studying the degraded stones had also allowed those specialists to identity and reproduce the original mortar recipe so as to bring the wall’s remains as close as possible to their original state.

A captioned photo told of how, at their first laying, those stones, to save on costs, were pulled up from fields, streams or the occasional quarry and then transported by sled. The finer stones had gone to the outer frame, the ground and field stones to filling in that frame. The testimonial concluded with an observation as to the materials and refuse found within the old city moat. There remained little distinct trace of the succeeding French and English occupations, but there had accumulated considerable daily waste between its periodic cleanings: dog, horse and cat carcasses; bones from geese, swans, even muskrats; an impressive collection of alcohol vessels, of most materials imaginable.

In the end, it seemed safe to say that, before the landfill, the city moat had occupied an important function, not that of keeping citizens in and enemies out, but that of delineating the boundary between property and waste, between that which had passed out of one and into the other.

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