Monday, June 27 from Mont-de-Marsan I was going to visit the country of Tursan after a stop at Aire-sur-l'Adour to admire two religious buildings, the church of Saint-Pierre-du-Mas called Sainte-Quitterie, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. As befits any tympanum of the great Gothic portal, it is dedicated to the Last Judgment; some sculptures still have some paint. In front of the 18th century choir two Romanesque arches. The 11th century crypt can be viewed by appointment. Saint-Jean-Baptiste Cathedral is located in the lower town. I set up my bivouac on a small quiet parking lot at the exit of the city on the D2.
|The choir of Sainte-Quitterie/|
Tuesday, June 28 two main visits were on the menu. The village of Geaune has one of the original bastides of the English occupation of the Plantagenet dynasty in the 12th century. The municipality had the rich idea of sowing photos from the beginning of the 20th century along the visit route. Thus the evolution is obvious the central place was occupied by cattle and carts now it is cars including my truck that pollute the landscape. The church is away from the square, Gothic in style but closed. Further on the D111 Pimbo is the oldest bastide in the Landes with the 12th century St-Barthélemy collegiate church in the semicircular Romanesque style on the square, a stopover on the way to Compostela. The wear of the threshold attests to the passage of many pilgrims on the way to Compostela since the 5th century, supposedly, but more likely since 813. On the way to Samadet I shunted the Museum of Earthenware and Tableware. Then I crossed Vielle-Tursan to come across Eugénie-les-Bains, a spa resort, which owes its name to Empress Eugénie, there too I went on my way. Finally I looked in vain for Notre-Dame-du-Rugby at Larrivière, certainly I did not put myself there with good will. I ended this tour by returning to yesterday's bivouac at the exit of Aire-sur-l'Adour on the D2.
|Sunflower picture by Guy, Sunflower painting by Van Gogh|
Wednesday, June 29 I headed for Saint-Sever entrance to the Chalosse plateau. I spent most of the morning there exploring the interior of the abbey church as the architectural richness is great due to various destructions during its construction From the entrance of the building a large Romanesque nave flanked by two Gothic side naves terminated by apsidioles of irregular size. The choir is paved with a mosaic. But what is most striking are the capitals, some of which are covered in paint. As the interpretive panel announces, they represent scenes of the apocalypse. The chapter house exhibits the treasure of the abbey, including the famous Beatus, an illuminated work. An exterior walk allows you to see the apsidioles of irregular size. The former Jacobins convent is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays. I set up my bivouac in the Intermarché car park.
|Abbey Church, Benedictine Abbey|
I saw two capitals again, the Banquet of Herod and Daniel in the lion's den. The first requires what developments. The bible, old testament, tells several stories of cephalocope women. One, Judith who practiced decollation Holofernes, Assyrian general, who threatened his village and his religion. Many painters have depicted this beheading, from Caravaggio to Klimt. The second, no less famous, is Salome who had Saint John the Baptist beheaded by Herod after a very erotic dance of the seven veils. Richard Strauss wrote an opera in one act whose dance of the seven veils has a very suggestive orchestration. Several lyrical sopranos have gone so far as to be completely naked during performances.
|Banquet d'Hérode et Daniel|
Thursday, June 30 under a Breton drizzle and a temperature of 14°C I traveled the tour of Chalosse and these many churches, all or part, of Romanesque style and decorated with altarpieces, sculptures evoking the life of Jesus Christ; it was Audignon, Montaut, Laurède and Brassempouy and others closed like the crypt of Saint-Girons. I ended the journey in Saint-Sever in the Intermarché car park.
Friday July 1st after a foggy morning the sun appeared very happy. My first visit was Notre-Dame-de-Buglose which has two particularities, a bell tower with a chime of sixty bells and a Virgin and Child in polychrome stone perched very high above the altar; it would have taken a 200mm tele for a clear picture, it had stayed in the truck! Another mosaic Madonna and Child and a crucifix completed the furnishings. The Cradle of Saint Vincent de Paul, in addition to his birthplace, is made up of a neo-Byzantine style church. Finally I arrived in Dax at the end of the morning in very chaotic traffic and inaccessible underground car parks or crowded on the surface. I found a curb behind the cathedral which features a very ornate interior portal rebuilt after the collapse of the previous cathedral. I continued on my way to Peyrehorade where I found parking on a vacant lot.
Saturday, July 2 near Peyrehorade two nuggets recall the Christian roots of France, the Abbey of Sordes and the Abbey of Arthous, the latter is listed as a World Heritage Site. Of course these were national assets during the French Revolution sold at a low price to reimburse the assignats. The revolutionaries, Robespierre, Danton, Marat, Saint-Just and many other heirs of the Enlightenment, but who were not really enlightened. Today the municipalities, departments and regions have been undertaking for many years to restore what was destroyed by ideologues, a nod to current political events in France. In general, the visit of churches, monasteries and other places of worship requires a lot of attention with regard to stairs in buildings without a lift because it is necessary to keep an eye on the capitals. to observe the biblical scenes carved there. I ended my visits with the bastide of Hastingues and its only vestige of the English occupation in the 13th century by the Plantagenêts. Looking for a bivouac, I found it on the banks of the Adour in Sames.
|Pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago|
Sunday, July 3 I went to the Landes coast bordering the Atlantic Ocean dominated by sandy beaches and dunes whose erratic movements were fixed by ad hoc plantations. I was not going to Mimizan whose interest is only touristic. After a quick trip to Contis I advised the "Piou de Pelle" campsite between Contis and St-Julien-en-Born. It is basic but well maintained with modern sanitary facilities, random WiFi access and electricity terminals but no laundry! I decided to stay two nights. On the way 5 km after St-Jean-de-Marsacq on the D12 the road was blocked by travellers. On the circuitous road I met police cars going to the scene of the crime! As in Provence, the gypsies behave like a savage taking travelers hostage; France becomes a banana republic.