I was in Tours this morning for an English lesson and having noticed that we are low on tea I swung into the town centre to pick some up.
The tea shop was full of customers and so knowing I would have to wait quite a while I decided instead to pay a visit to Fritz the elephant about fifteen minutes walk away. After a restorative coffee at the Bergerac café in Colbert street I got sidetracked into a tiny little cul-de-sac where I was delighted to find this interesting little character with an afro haircut and groovy shades stuck onto a metal door. The spiral staircase in the background and the wheelie bin are added bonuses.
Around the corner is the magnificent Saint Gatien Cathedral with an ugly silver car in front. I should have waited for it to drive past but what can you do with a dumb camera phone? What I regret the most about modern photography is the little viewfinder you look into to frame your pictures correctly and avoid unwanted intrusions. You don’t get them on most cameras now, let alone on a smart phone.
Only a little farther on the street from the cathedral is the Fine Art Museum which has an enormous sprawling cedar in its entrance and this weird curiosity, a stuffed elephant, accessible to all free of charge. Fritz was a star in Barnum & Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth and apparently went mad whilst being paraded in Tours in 1902. It was decided that the most efficient and humane way of stopping him from creating any more chaos in the streets of Tours would be to strangle him to death with ropes and tackle. It took them three hours to kill him. This, needless to say, is not explained on the information panels.
So there you are; another little known monument to human cruelty masquerading as a fun little tourist attraction.
The tea shop had cleared up when I returned and so I purchased some fine Assam Yunnan tea for my breakfast before going home.