I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Day 10: Deuillet To Laon

Many village shops had closed down in this relatively poor area of France; this café and grocery store had certainly seen better days.

War memorial in Saint-Nicolas-aux-Bois.

We could see the spires and towers of Laon silhouetted against the skyline long before we reached this lovely old town, soaring high above the plain on a flat-topped ridge of rock. This is Rue Châtelaine on a Sunday afternoon . . .

. . . and this is a crêperie in the Market Place, where it was no surprise to find Ernst enjoying a pancake and a glass of wine!

Laon's 12th-century Gothic cathedral, Notre-Dame de Laon, was simply magnificent, and wandering round its inspiring interior gave us the most profoundly spiritual moment of the pilgrimage so far. The exterior wasn't bad either . . . 

Here's the west porch with its impressive, stone-carved doorway.

Needless to say, we soon joined Ernst for a little wine and conversation. From left to right: Pascal Mondon (an artist whose studio faced the square), myself, Peter and the incorrigible Ernst.

Laon cathedral in the glow of sunset.

6 comments:

Ruth Mowry said...

Laon looks great, especially with friends. That last shot is gorgeous!

Bouncing Bertie said...

I've cycled through Picardy a couple of times and am now regretting having missed Laon. Great photos.
I'm afraid the closure of village shops and café/bars is a trend I've seen in many parts of France.
Cheers, Gail.

George said...

Great photo of you, Ernst, Peter, and Pascal. It reminds me once again that the best part of traveling, especially on foot, are the strangers one meets along the way.

The cathedral in Laon is magnificent!

am said...

Loved the photo showing the fellowship of three solitary walkers and an artist! It's such a joy to follow along on your long walks.

The Solitary Walker said...

Laon was brilliant — the campsite, the company, the charm of the place.

Am — yes, three solitary walkers, it's true. But, coincidentally, Peter and Ernst were also both talented artists!

dritanje said...

I remember Laon and its amazing cathedral from a visit there many years ago. A story of when it was being built - 2 of the oxen pulling the carts carrying stones, died, and 2 white oxen appeared mysteriously to take their place.

Beautiful pictures!