Burgundy 2013 – Pontigny Abbey

Sometimes…

…a place is so amazing…

…there just aren’t the words…

…to describe it.

That’s how the Cistercian Abbey at Pontigny made me feel.

 It was founded in 1114, and not one…

…but three Archbishops of Canterbury took refugue here…

…Edmund Rich (St Edmund of Abingdon, the first Oxford don to become a saint), St Thomas a Becket and Stephen Langton.

The community was suppressed during the French revolution…

…and it’s said that the local reverence for St Edmund’s relics kept the church from being destroyed…

…and it continued as a parish church.

What a place to have as your parish church…

…sadly, I don’t think it is now.

These chaps were from Rentokil – after termites I think.

We all left…

…feeling…

…rather impressed…

…by the place.

Madeira Day 4 – Out and About

The old cliff edge roads are now mostly replaced by tunnels. This is part of the old road on the west side of the island.

It’s still the access to this farm land. As you can see, all the terracing is man made (hmmm…now there’s an idea for the RA show, if entries weren’t already closed) – no land is wasted.

The sea was magnificent – but not somewhere I’d like to try swimming.

Some of the older tunnels were rather scary too!

No wonder there are shrines everywhere!

Madeira Day 4 – Câmara de Lobos

On Wednesday we hired a car – our first stop was Câmara de Lobos .

It was the first place that the discoverer of Madeira, João Gonçalves Zarco landed. Apparently, he saw the sea cliffs at Cabo Girão (of which more later) and turned back. Winston Churchill stopped off here in 1950 and did a few daubs.

As you can see from the terracing on the hillside, no land in Madeira is wasted. If there’s a patch of earth, they’ll get a banana tree or some vines in it. It’s quite inspiring, but it makes you realise, just how hard life still is for many Madeirans.

Câmara de Lobos is a thriving harbour – although when we were there, the fishermen were all busy playing snooker, cards and expectorating.

As you’d expect – I was very keen on the different blues of the fishing boats. I’ve cropped this to get rid of street ligts and all those other nasty modern things :-).

The bar where we had a coffee, had a big football scarf collection. As I was discussing with Lorna, yesterday – it’s always interesting to see collections of things.

The BVM is very popular in Maderia.

Woodstock Madonna

I came across this little Lady in Woodstock a few months ago – but have been unable to find out anything about her history. If anyone knows anything can you let me know?

Apart from anything else, I could do with some distraction. I had a very bad night last night and I am having trouble thinking the DEEP THOUGHTS, I need to think at work this morning. If only I could persuade the powers that be that I think best with my eyes closed!