Finally Lomoges, in the Limosin region of France. I have been thinking about this place since I started. Why? Well I had nightmares about this place ever since I started researching this trip back in Canada. I do not understand it but I think it had to do with walking into a big city from one side and trying to figure out how to get out of it on the other side. Scary for a Pilgrim.
I woke up one night in a cold sweat. I had this dream of gargoyles attacking me as I was trying to figure out how to get out of the maze of streets. Gargoyles are those ornamental medieval downspouts that you see on all of the big Cathedrals around here. They looked at me, laughing and frothing at the mouth as I was trying to run out of one medieval Cathedral after the next. It was horrible…..mommy!
” So you have come to France” they said.
” To take a walk” they gargoyled.
” In 30 plus degree heat” they screamed with devilish laughter.” “ Are you an idiot” they asked.
I could only run, and run and run and as I looked back in disbelief I saw a thousand gargoyles coming after me. Frothing at the mouth. Heckling and laughing at me. I have to get out of Limoges and their awesome roman Cathedral. But that is where all of these gargoyles come from. Where can I go? I thought. I ran down a narrow medieval street into a medieval alley that came to a medieval dead end. I was toast. I could only look back in absolute terror as these ugly gargoyles came down at me, ready to devour me. As I took my last scream on god’s green earth, I woke up. Whoa! Whew. Wow. As I looked over at the end table I saw a picture of Notre Dame with their medieval downspouts for rain. It was just a dream, I thought, but for an instant I thought I heard:
” So, you’ve cone to France have you?
True story. Whew. That was some nightmare. I got up and immediately went to the heads. And that is how I have been thinking of Limoges ever since I started this trek. And, like all things in life thoughts are way worse than reality.
Limoge Roman Cathedral. Not too scary is it?
The walk today was great. Still lots of hills and 31 C today but we made it by 1300 (1 pm). I am not going to belabor the hills anymore as I am told the rest of the route will be similar. Nevertheless, when you see sights like this what can one complain about:
Met two new pilgrims today. Laurent from Brittany and Gil from Paris. Laurent was in a hurry as he likes to do between 30 and 40 kilometers per day. Gil and I walked together for the whole day and are staying at the same hostel tonight. Gil is an interesting character. He models in Paris for art schools and other artists. Only in Paris I would think. I have never met anyone who has every done that for a living. It is a wonderful world full of wonders. I asked him what he does when he has a twitch or a fly bugging him. Or if he has to sneeze, fart. This made for interesting conversation. Then as we were nearing Limoges he went on a rant about pilgrims. Jokingly, I told him to stop as the god of pilgrims may not be kind to us. Sure enough as we got closer to the Cathedral we saw that we were facing a monstrous hill to climb to get to where the cathedral was located. Damn Gil, but we had some good laughs over that rant of his. He was cursing the gods of walking to no end especially in this heat. “ You guys try this”he taunted them. Gil will be with me for one more day, then he returns to Paris.
Ran into Yannick today as well. Remember him? He was the young Danish guy from Finland who was having a moment of crisis in his life. Well his girlfriend met him in Limoges and she will walk with him for a week. Great I thought.
By the way, St Leonard of Noblat fame was a 6th century hermit who lived in the dark forest during the dark ages. So, another mystery of life: how does one become a saint if you,re a hermit? Hmmm? Hmmmm? If you know the answer to that I would love to read it in the comments.
Some of these hostels we stay at are nicer than hotels. This one is a religious hostel right beside the Cathedral. Nice. And they have instant coffee here, which is what I like because it is instant.
A change in the tunes and also something new. My Swiss freinds mentioned a family member having a holiday in Scotland which they really liked. That reminded me of the trip my dear wife Marijke and I took to Edinburgh to see the military tatoo in 2015. Some of you will remember that trip and the fun Marijke and I had on the mega bus. Anyway, enjoy this:
And then this:
You know, one bagpipe is akin to a cat clawing his claws down a blackboard. But a hundred playing together is a heaven,s choir.