For better or worse I’ve committed myself to more walking than I anticipated today.
The path is already steeper than I anticipated but fortunately there’s a flat-ish area about half way up.
As part of the medieval festival going on at the La Roche-en-Ardenne castle, there is an archery stand set up here where visitors can try and cultivate their inner Robin Hood fantasies.
I do have to admit that any ambitions I may have had at the idea of taking up archery as a sport were rudely dashed by the realisation after several goes that I was never going to be brilliant at this, not now or in a million years.
You get to shoot six arrows for Euro 1,– and as the photographs of my efforts show, Robin Hood would be ducking for cover if I were in charge of a bow and arrow anywhere close by.
The man running the stall is friendly and offers a little lesson on how best to stand and howto line up the target, sadly the advice on standing is rather wasted in my case as I can only mainly stand on my right leg and without the help of crutches it can get wobbly.
Since I’m the only visitor here when I first arrive, we chat, half in French and then switch half into Dutch because archery terms weren’t in any of my French conversations to date and I’m struggling.
Of course laughing as you try to follow instructions and shoot arrows is also not conducive to great aim, but who cares, I’m having fun.
Then another visitor, a young man, turns up and gets a lesson as he shoots followed by a far better round than I managed to achieve.
I took a heap of rapid fire photographs as he shot each of his arrows, hoping to capture that elusive moment when the arrow leaves the bow.
About seventy deleted images later I achieved the in-flight shots and was rather pleased with myself (even though the law of averages says I would have gotten the shot had I simply kept trying long enough anyway). I love digital photography. I was pleased to see that it wasn’t just me photographing my efforts either… when he finished he rushed up to the board with his camera and took shots, apparently we both love digital photography. Later when I was further up the castle I could look down and see more visitors trying their hand with the bows… it doesn’t matter if you are just stopping here for a breather or if you want to test your aim: This place is right on target.
The arrow just leaving the bow…
My one and only in-flight arrow shot…
My efforts (both targets)…