I didn’t want to turn last night’s post into War & Peace so as I hinted, I’ve saved details of our stay in Bourg-en-Bresse for today.
It was a long, boring and expensive run from Annecy on the toll motorways, but I must confess it was bliss not swinging through hairpin bends and up & down mountains for a change! We had to stock up on essentials so we raided a Carrefour supermarket on the outskirts of the town, which to our surprise turned out to be only five minutes from our overnight stop. The aire at Bourg-en-Bresse is just a parking area under plane trees by a park. It was filling up fast, and I was forced to revise my opinion on Belgians (see yesterday’s blog!) as one kindly moved his van along a bit to make room for Vince.
We had a quick bite to eat, sun-blocked up then headed into town for a mooch around. We walked down wide streets with modern buildings but there were little havens of greenery here and there where couples strolled or children played. the area we were in was well-served with restaurants too although the menus were a little salty for us – and I’m not talking about the flavours… Main courses were around €35 eek! I know a lot of our posts contain descriptions of medieval streets full of little boutiques and which have winding cobbled walkways leading to a church or cathedral. Well Bourg-en-Bresse has lots of medieval streets full of little boutiques and which have winding cobbled walkways leading to a church or cathedral. We spent half an hour in the cool of Notre-Dame Cathedral, admiring the ancient wood carvings and stained glass. The marble slabs underfoot were worn smooth by over 500 years of shuffling supplicants and I found myself wondering what outdoor sounds they heard all those years ago. I’m sure it wasn’t the tooting of horns and the rumble of traffic we could hear seeping through the windows and doors.
Although we’ve visited many churches and cathedrals on our travels, this is the first which had a stained glass window dedicated to Saint Vincent! Saint Vince, rather appropriately it turns out, is the patron saint of vintners, so we raised a glass in his honour at a café outside.
While I was sitting with a beer tapping away on the iPad yesterday evening for your entertainment, I noticed that our car park was filling up rapidly. Folks were dumping their cars any old where and trotting off to Le Monastère Royal de Brou which is a church and monastery complex only two minutes away. Being the shy and retiring type, I stopped one family in their tracks and demanded to know what was going on. Apparently part of the holiday celebrations was a son et lumière show to be projected on the facade of the church. I’d heard of these shows which are very popular in France, but never seen one – so faces were washed, hair combed and off we went.
It was lovely, and very professionally done. I shall leave you with a bunch of pics of the church being transformed by hunting scenes, candlelight, music and dance. If you want to waste some of your data allowance there’s a short video clip here which gives you a better idea of what went on.
We’ve just arrived in Mâcon and have set the chairs up in the shade where I’m writing this post. Beer is poured and we ain’t moving til Sunday. Have a lovely weekend! 🙂