SAINT-SEVER – BEYRIES

 

Sometimes a bird arrives quickly

But equally it may take many years

Before it chooses to                        

Don’t be discouraged

Wait

Wait many years if needed

The speed or tardiness of its arrival

Has nothing to do

With the success of the picture…..

                                                                                                           Jaques Prévert

                                             

Country streets with nobody driving or walking on it – huge fields of corn and sunflowers on a completely flat area – houses with the wooden window shutters closed – nobody seemed to live in this place. Today, I had to walk 30 km. The visit of the newly renovated Gothic church Notre Dame in Audignon was a nice change. After four years of renovation, it opened for the first day when I was there.

 

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Église Notre Dame

Église Notre Dame

 

 

Gothic frescoes behind the altar

Gothic frescoes behind the altar

 

 

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In the town of Hagetmau, I saw for the first time on this trek palm trees growing beside a church. I was so tired this day that I did not visit the 12th century crypt Saint-Girons, but had a nice lunch break in the town beside a refreshing water fountain.

 

 

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Like so often, I passed crosses and religious monuments on my way. A statue of St. Michel on a huge column was standing outside of the town Hagetmeau. St. Michel is one of the most popular saints in France. Together with the female warrior Saint Jean d’Arc, one can find Saint Michel in every church. During the religious wars and the counterreformation, the Catholics used his story to depict the Protestants as evil.

 

 

St. Michel killing Protestantism, symbolized by a human being.

St. Michel killing Protestantism, symbolized by a human being.

 

When I arrived in the little village of Beyries, a village with only 87 inhabitants, I stayed overnight in the most unusual place. Beside the city hall, (every tiny village in France seems to have a Mairie), a huge event hall was built. On one end stood 7 cots ready to use by pilgrims and on the other end there was a bar with a tiny kitchen. Every time I wanted to go either to the kitchen or bathroom, I had to cross an empty space of about 90 feet. The shower was placed in the men’s bathroom in between two urinals. But the shower was great. For my tired feet, I prepared a wonderful bath with saltwater in it. I was also thankful that I had a bed to sleep in.

 

 

Event hall in Beyries

Event hall in Beyries

 

 

So much space…..

So much space…..