23 July 2012

Conques

On our way up to Chaudes-Aigues for the night, we stopped by the medieval village of Conques.  This has been a stopping point for pilgrims on their way to Saint Jacques de Compostelle for centuries.  At one point, the village leaders decided that the village was losing its charm with the pilgrims and they went out on a search for the finest relics money could buy...kind of like the medieval version of building a big aquarium or a water park.  Thus Conques became the treasury for a beautiful collection of reliquaries...one of which contains the top of St. Foy's skull...Yikes!!  During the French Revolution, many of the gilded treasures were melted down and used to pay for the war and to save France, but the cunning ways of the citizens of Conques saved these treasures...they hid them in their houses and gardens until the danger had passed.















We found this tiny hazelnut oil store tucked into one of the corners of Conques.  The nutty smell of the delicious oil was irresistible!  It makes a killer vinaigrette!!






 The ironwork in the church was so beautiful and amazing!  You feel the workers' fingerprints on the obvious handmade elements from the Romanesque period. It never fails to give me chills thinking that these elements were made a thousand years ago and are so perfectly still here.  What do we create today that could stand such a test of time??!!




"One of the major monuments of architectural and cultural heritage that line the route to Santiago de Compostela, Conques abbey-church prides itself on sheltering under its vaults, a unique treasure of Romanesque sculpture and artefacts. Among these are the tympanum of the Last Judgment and figurative capitals, all magnified by Pierre Soulages’ stained glass windows. The gilded or plated reliquaries of the Treasure, embellished with ancient enamels, cameos, intaglios and precious stones are exquisite examples of medieval craftsmanship. The precious treasure, assembled and preserved through the ages, nestles around the monastery within an environment of great beauty that is today recognized in the selective list of The most Beautiful Villages of France" Conques tourism site

Tourisme - Conques

Toulouse Faigle Style!


 Amazing how quickly Toulouse has opened up its heart to us and welcomed us as family!  This beautiful city enrobed in red earthy brick and outlined by the river Garonne has become our second home.  With Nate soon to set up residence here and Celia soon to follow, we have biked and walked its streets and beautiful parks.  Jazzy even has claimed Place Saint Georges as his own!





Glorious Summer Party!!


 In honor of the Fourth of July, we decided to share some true Americana with our international friends.  Who could pass up authentic BBQ ribs, chicken and pulled pork sandwiches etc etc etc???

We were very happy to see the gusto with which fingers became coated and cheeks were smudged with the sticky sauce!!

Even Mike's toned down but still sufficiently spicy salsa was a hit!  We thought that the normally heat adverse French palates would find it too spicy still.  Next time we will bring it on in its finest heat!!

What a wonderful sunny Sunday spent with some of our favorite people in the world!!  Oh the blessings of this life are great!!