Elaine decided that discretion was the better part of valour, and that the urchins were a big young for the shrunken heads in the Pitt Rivers. I introduced them to my favourite exhibit, this scrimshaw hunting scene.
I think this polar bear has a fantastic expression. However, I think the wind-up torches, that you could borrow for a better look in the cases, were the most memorable thing about the visit!
Apart from servicing my abbey addiction – we went to Vézelay to vist a new modern art museum, the Musée Zervos. It has a lovely little collection, and the house that houses it has been very cleverly adapted.
I also really enjoyed just walking around – and monk spotting.
My eye was caught by some rather nice street signs…this cat…
…and I’ve no idea what these ones were advertising!
Here is some wisteria for my Mum.
There were reminders all over the place of how ancient Vézelay is…some wattle and daub…
…and a mysterious face…
Add the wonderful views, and you can see why it’s such a special place.
Vézelay – where to start? Both the town and the basilica are amazingly beautiful.
I first went there as a young child – and it haunted my dreams. I can never go there often enough – the past is so tangible.
It’s noted for its intricate carving.
A lot of it has been restored – here is David slaying Goliath.
The story curves around the capital. I like the fact that David has to stand on a book to finish Goliath off!
And here is a dinky Tower of Babel.
I’ve never been to anywhere quite like Cluny. It has the remains of a Benedictine Abbey, which was once the most, prestigious and powerful in Europe.
I’m used to monastic ruins being on the top of a hill in some scenic spot.
In Cluny the remains are completely integrated into the town.
There’s enough left to give you an inkling of what the abbey must have been like.
Quite lovely I think…
This is the remains of a stoop…
…and this is an apostle. I like the fact he was carved wearing contemporary dress.
The abbey slowly declined, before being absolutely ravaged during the French revolution and almost totally demolished in 1810.
An engineering school was set up in amongst the ruins…
…and it’s very odd to turn a corner and find a seminar going on.
The Flour Store is more or less intact…
…and is used to house bits and pieces that have been salvaged.
The ceiling is quite amazing.
Here is Adam and Eve – they look like they’re really scoffing don’t they?
These chaps are on the Harman Memorial in Burford Church.
They are thought to be South American natives – and they do look a bit Aztecish don’t they?