SORGES – PÉRIGUEUX
Sorge is the capital of truffles; it even has a truffle museum. Fenced in oak forests on the way to Périgueux showed how valuable truffles are.
This day, I only had fourteen miles to walk and like always, passed beautiful sites.
In walking through the Forest “Forêt Lanmary” I discovered a castle, which seemed to be in a deep sleep for centuries. There was nobody around and everything was firmly locked up. It was a strange feeling peaking into the past with no life anymore in it.
When I arrived in the city of Perigueux, which has approximately 30,000 inhabitants, the difference between past and present was amazing. There were so many tourists visiting this town. The historical sites of Perigueux reach back to Gallo-Roman times. The most fascinating monument of the past for me was the temple of the Gallic goddess “Vesunna.”
After the Romans invaded the Celtic people, they erected their own monuments and temples. Beside the left over of an amphitheater, other ruins of the Roman times can be seen.
During the peak of the pilgrimage to Santiago, Perigueux became a famous pilgrimage town. Two churches speak about this time – the 12th century Cathédral Saint-Front and the even older church Eglise Saint-Etienne de la Cité. In visiting the Church Saint-Etienne, I felt very uncomfortable. It was dark and dreary; even the organ music did not change this feeling.
The Cathedral Saint-Front reminded me of St. Marcus in Venice and the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. It had a Byzantine influence; its space was enormous. But, somehow, my enthusiasm for historical buildings had vanished that day. Not even the cheery whiteness of the town – all the buildings and streets were built of the local white limestone – lifted my spirits. It was my last day with Rohan and Eddy and I felt somehow exhausted from the many days of walking. Just before I arrived Perigueux, I got lost again and had to walk 3 extra miles on a busy road. I was considering the idea of stopping all together and, instead, visiting Thich Nhat Hanh’s Plum Village, which was not far from Perigueux.