Monday August 10, the day of my 80th birthday, I once again drove the departmental roads in search of ecclesiastical monuments dating from the Middle Ages and more particularly in Roman style. The church of Saint-Désiré, here, in the town of the same name caught my attention by the blondness of the stone found in the exterior stones under the low angle light in the morning. The interior is very sober, characteristic of 11th century Roman art. The crypt attests to its anteriority by the semicircular vault. The Notre-Dame de Huriel church was closed during my visit, I noticed the octagonal bell tower. In Domérat I stopped quickly to photograph Bacchus on his barrel. Montluçon was also quickly visited to see the Notre-Dame church and a 15th century Pieta, here, in the old town, as well as old paintings in a glass room. Then, going up the hill, the castle of the Dukes of Bourbon and its 15th century clock tower, whose esplanade offers a superb view of the Massif Central. To find a bivouac area I went as far as Jarnages, on the edge of the pond, and its 12th century church.
|Bacchus on his barrel, Domérat|
Tuesday August 11 I went in search of the chapel of St-Marien at the confluence of the Tarbes and the Cher on a promontory overlooking an artificial lake. Then I set out again to discover the 13th century chapel of Ste-Radegonde, the vestige of a disappeared hamlet. From the chapel of St-Marien to that of Ste-Radegonde, you have to cross a narrow suspension bridge without any prohibition of width or weight! In Chambon-sur-Voueize, the Ste-Valérie church has two bell towers. The heart is elegant in simplicity. An apse has a beautiful altarpiece dedicated to Ste-Valérie another exhibits a 16th century pieta and a statue of the take-off of Ste-Valérie. The stalls of the heart are decorated with misericord here. In Moutier-d'Ahun, where my bivouac took place, I arrived too late to visit the church, which was closed on Tuesday afternoon.
|Lever du soleil, sunrise|
Wednesday August 12 was a "colorful" day with a visit to the church of Sous-Parsat and the Cité Internationale de la Tapisserie in Aubusson. The Sous-Parsat church, here, was destroyed during the French Revolution and then rebuilt at the end of the 19th century. The frescoes are by Gabriel Chabrat, here, playing with yellow (joy) and blue (dream). I was fortunate that it was open when I was there at 8.00 but without lighting for the photos taken blind. Further on I made a brief stop in the village of Masgot under a gloomy sky. The highlight was the visit to the Cité Internationale de la Tapisserie, installed in its new building in 2016. Among the works on display I chose the modern creations for their pattern and color as opposed to the mythology of old tapestries. At the entrance, visitors receive an interpretive booklet of the works in the nave of the hangings. I bivouacked in the parking lot dedicated to motorhomes in Felletin. The heatwave begins to fade away.
|Fresque, Fresco by Gabriel Chabrat|
Thursday, August 13, I was traveling the Plateau de Millevaches, here, circuit proposed by the Limousin Green Guide book under an intermittent drizzle accompanied by sudden gusts and a temperature between 17 and 21 ° C. It is strongly hilly located between 750 and 850 meters above sea level. My first visit was to the Gallo-Roman site of Cars, here, from the 2nd and 3rd century. It presents a funerary complex with a temple and further on the remains of a dwelling with all the comforts, water supply from a monolithic tank and lead pipes. The walk is decorated with interpretive panels of the technique used. Continuing my journey I passed at the foot of Mount Bessou, 977 m, and its telecommunications tower. I made a brief stop in the rain at the sign for the Tourbière du Longeyroux. On the way I broke my nose at the doors of closed chapels, in particular that of Chavanac, which has a statue of Salomé carrying the head of Saint John the Baptist on a plate, a personal reminiscence of Strauss's Salome, here. While crossing Peyrelevade I took some Street-Art photos and, finally, a quick rainy stop at St-Gilles and St-Georges de Tarnac churches. I bivouacked on the shore of Lake of Vassivière, still in intermittent drizzle.
Friday August 14th began with a sleep-in with foggy weather without rain. I strolled along the shore of Lac de Vassivière with limited visibility. Despite everything, I covered the fifty kilometers to get to Bujaleuf in just over an hour. Under a cloudy sky of gray and black with timid appearances of the sun I bivouacked not far from La Meaulde river. This stop about forty kilometers from Limoges will allow me to get there early to visit it.
Saturday August 15 I had two objectives for visiting Limoges, the St-Etienne cathedral and the enamel room of the Museum of Fine Arts and the Martyr town of Oradour-sur-Glane. In Limoges the enamel room was closed. The St-Jean portal of St-Etienne cathedral, here, is very ornate, notably with a rose decorated with multicolored glass. The bell tower attests that its construction lasted several centuries covering Roman and then Gothic art. The rood screen under the organ has mythological bas-reliefs of the labors by Hercules. Oradour-sur-Glane, here, already visited almost forty years ago, is a place of pilgrimage for the French people, as shown by the large crowd on this day of the Assumption. In summary 642 people, men, women and children were assassinated by the soldiers of the Nazi division "Das Reich" on June 10, 1944, symbol of human barbarism. I bivouacked on the site's rest area. A woman came to the door of my vehicle and said: "Hello Mr. Bazin". She explained to me that she had been following my journey since 2006. We shared our experiences as well as our personal relationships.
|Éliane, voyageuse intrépide|
Sunday I intended to visit old Limoges, unfortunately the weather was not only gloomy but also rainy and the stalls were closed on this Sunday. I continued my way to Solignac to visit the abbey church,here, a vestige of an abbey founded in 632 by Saint-Éloi. The Roman-style church dates from the mid-12th century. The weather being uncertain I ran aground at St-Priest-Taurion. The afternoon fluctuated between drizzle and cloudiness. I was bivouacking near a stadium on a service area!