Voie de Vézelay, Day 36



Then set the canvas against a tree

In a garden

In a grove

Or in a forest

Hide behind the tree

Without speaking

Or moving…

                                                 Jaques Prévert


When I left the town in the morning, the streets where filled with little booths. There was a market going on in town. People prepared their stands for selling fruit, vegetables, clothing, household goods, electronics……



Apricot booth
Apricot booth


The influence of Spain could be seen on posters and cars. People enjoy bullfights in this area. The rules had been changed for the fight, as the bull has to leave the arena still alive. Mont-de-Marsan is the capital of Les Landes with about 30,000 inhabitants. Despite the market activities, the town made a somehow sleepy impression.



French car with the symbol of the European Union and the bull
French car with the symbol of the European Union and the bull


After Mont-de-Marson, I left the big forest area and saw again the great, big sky. Meadows full of yellow flowers were scattered along my way.










In a little village, people had organized a community walk. A mother with her two daughters prepared some refreshments for the passing by hikers. They invited me to have a snack too.



Community hike
Community hike

Shortly before I arrived in Saint-Sever, I crossed the river Adour. It was nice to see water again.





The walk up to the plateau where Saint-Severe is located was a little ravine covered with deep green moss. It was beautiful to walk through. The town itself goes back to Gallo-Roman times and is full of history.







The refuge was in a former Jacobine monastery (a religious order founded in Paris in the beginning of the 13th century). Here I met the hospitaliér Philippe. He gave me a tour of the town and explained the historical significance of the buildings. Unfortunately, his English sounded more like French and I could not understand him very well. In the museum of the Couvent des Jakobines, I saw a copy of a world map from the 11th century Beatus manuscript. It was fascinating to see how medieval people saw the world at their time.



Refuge in the former monastery
Refuge in the former monastery



Former Benedictine monastery Saint-Sever founded in the 10th century
Former Benedictine monastery Saint-Sever founded in the 10th century



Former church of the Jakobine Monastery, now used for events
Former church of the Jakobine Monastery, now used for events



11th century map of the world
11th century map of the world



Born and raised in a village along the Danube in Austria, Traude Wild soon ventured out into the world. After a two-year program for tourism in Klesheim/Salzburg, she spent nearly a year in South Africa and Namibia. By returning back to Austria, she acquired a Master of Economics at the University of Vienna. After moving to the United States with her four children, she studied Art History at Arizona State University and stayed in the United States for fourteen years. Here, she was teaching Art History in several Universities like Webster University and University of Missouri-St. Louis. Now, she lives partially in Arizona and Vienna and works together with her husband for the University of South-Carolina, Moore School of business as Adjunct Professor organising and leading Study tours in Central Europe. She also teaches at the Sigmund Freud University in Vienna. Since 1999, she is practicing Zen meditation in the lineage of Katagiri Roshi. She loves to hike and to write and is a student of Natalie Goldberg. During her often many weeks long hikes she brings her awareness into the Here and Now, describing her experiences in an authentic way. She loves to walk pilgrimages. The longest hike so far was the 1,400 km long 88 Temple pilgrimage in Shikoku, Japan in 2016.

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