FLAVIGNAC- LA COQUILLE
This day was a day of walking through meadows, forests and fields. Quiet lakes were scattered in between with trees being reflected on the surface. It was great just to walk.
In front of a cherry tree, the owner of the house placed a chair for the hikers with the invitation to use it for rest.
Around noon, I arrived in the charming little town, Châlus, where the English king Richard Lionheart died during a battle over the castle in 1199. This was a big surprise for me. Not only was I following the footsteps of Richard Lionheart by starting my pilgrimage in Vezelay, but also, an Austrian Duke captured Richard Lionheart when he passed Vienna and put him into prison in the castle of Dürnstein, near where I am from. There was a connection between the past and the present.
When I walked up to the castle, its big entrance door was locked. I did not see any way to visit the place. Suddenly, a girl came with a key. She was the tour guide of the castle and opened the place for the first time in the season. Her name was Charlotte and she gave me a tour.
After King Lionheart’s death – as it was common practice for the aristocracy during the Middle Ages – his body was divided up. His entrails were buried in the castle of Châlus, his embalmed heart in the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Rouen, and the rest of his body was buried in the Fontevraud Abbey beside his father.
After I left the town, my mind was occupied with the story of Richard Lionheart and the chain of events, which lead to his early death. At one point on the Way, I had to decide if I wanted to ignore the local signs of forbidding me to enter a clearly marked way of the pilgrimage or not. It was very confusing. I decided to follow the shell – and really got lost. It was an old sign nobody had removed. At the end, I reached the common Way again, but with a big detour. It was nice that Eddy and Rohan called to find out where I was. I arrived in La Coquille in late afternoon. La Coquille means shell in French.