La Belle France - La Romieu - Blog 3

La Romieu celebrates the 700 year anniversary of its magnificent Collegiale.

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… as I discovered that morning, in search of my early morning croissant and coffee.

Three excellent choices in the village.

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Villagers in costumes of 700 years ago, entering heart and soul into the spirit of the celebration.

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A fascinating display of materials, weaving threads and decorative adornments all still made by hand – right here in the village. The little dressmaker shop is still kept very busy making and mending garments on request.

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That evening a choral concert that took my breath away. I was so moved by the beautiful voices echoing through the rafters of the interior of the Collegiale, that it bought a tear to my eye. 

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When last did I do or hear anything quite like this?

The astonishing number of people in attendance equally transported added to the whole experience.

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The festival continued over three days, celebrating days gone by with musicians playing on original instruments of the period. How amazing I thought, that they have kept those skills. Rapt audiences in the cloisters and out in the main square too. Young and old, formal and informal.

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From one experience to another -  I was flying high by now!

Friends Catherine and Denis had long been planning an exhibition of photography at their Galerie Va Bene

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I drifted from the musical event, all of 20 metres away into their premises. We chatted about the photographer. His inspiration had been the discovery of the interior of a derelict house he wanted to buy. The rotting bird droppings on long abandoned furnishings had formed their own kind of art, and he was mesmerised. 

I know the feeling!

I found myself feeling a part of his exhibition… drinking in 700 years of history, the backdrop playing host to his photographs.

The surroundings so delighted and surprised me, I had to take part! I could not control my impulse to take some inspirational photographs to see what might transpire.

Here are the results.

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35°C on the thermometer, time to go home for a rest!

… Siesta time.

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Could the day get any better?  It could!

Now rested, I found I had missed the earlier news of the triumphant winner of The Tour de France!

What excitement to learn that Geraint Thomas, a Welshman won!

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There was only one thing for it – I was in France, I was half Welsh, I had a bike and my favourite colour?... YELLOW! - as yellow as sunflowers at sunset!

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Congratulations Geraint – I’m doing my lap of honour in my own style.