Monday, 29 September 2008

21 Sept 2008 Sunday - Patrimoine day, a big organ, and a trip

Sun shining again, so more washing goes onto the line. We walk into town and wander around. One of the “historical” buildings open to the public today is the Prefecture, built on the site of the original abbey. There is a large crowd of people outside presumably waiting to be let in so we give that a miss and climb the hill to the castle to find that today entry is free, but there is only half an hour to go before it closes at noon.
We pass this fountain on the way up the hill.
Tip of the day!
If you left click on the photos in the blog, it should open up the photos larger in a new window

There are 3 towers a museum and a shop to get round. This is impossible to accomplish in the time available, so we walk around the walls once, then go up the round tower, which is the most recent, being built in the 14th century. It is busy and S stops at the second landing. I continue up to the top of the tower and take more photos of the surrounding views from the top.

View of the abbey towards the river

The little pointy hill is the "Pain au sucre"

It is now 11.55am, so I head back down the stairs, taking more photos of some of the graffiti which has been carved into the tower walls over the centuries.

Is this the only blog to feature graffiti?

We leave the castle grounds and find a restaurant to eat at. We sit outside in the sun and have an excellent set lunch of 3 courses with wine and coffee for £10 each. It is baking hot and my face, head and arms are starting to sting a bit by the time we leave.
The guided tour of the old town is due to start in half an hour, so we sit on a bench in the shade before making our way to the tourist information office for the start of the tour. The guide sets off, without telling anyone a) that she is the guide, and b) that the tour has actually started. She is about 14 years old. We trudge around the streets and learn very little except that the Rue de le grand duc was not named after a Duke, but after an owl called le grand duc who used to live in the eaves of the houses hundreds of years ago.
The 40 minute tour takes about 25 minutes and we set off home.
It is bulb planting time and my hundred or so bulbs disappear in a small part of the cleared flower bed.
At 5.15pm we set off for the abbey to listen to an recital, which has been organised as part of the patrimoine events. The big organ is used for the recital (the abbey also has a small “jewel” of an organ too) and the organist is Christianne van Gorp, or at least that is what her name looks like on the hand written programme. The programme consists of 7 pieces, written by people that I have never heard of and takes about 40 minutes.
After the recital, we walk out into the sunshine and head home.
My mother now has two black eyes, and can just see through her closed eyes. My dad, aided by nephew C, sends me an email photo of mum.

Not a pretty sight, but she is not in pain like she was yesterday.
Don’t do it again mother!!!
The discolouration gets worse over the following days.

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