June 17th, 2019

17.06.19 - So, I was going to talk about the final in series 2 of Killing Eve, but just remembered that some of you are watching it weekly - best not spoil it!

Good quiet night again, and woke reasonably early. Was keen to get going as the forecast was for sun, sun and more sun!

Tintin drove for about 40 minutes to Vézelay. We arrived before we usually even think of leaving a place - very unusual for us! What struck me yet again on our pleasant drive was the amount of beautiful open green spaces. Don’t think I’ve been in other regions in France where day after day the scenery is so rural and peaceful. 

When leaving Vézelay we realized we’d parked where we should have paid. For some reason we just saw another moho, and parked nearby - when we left we saw the signs - oops! - it was a genuine mistake. 

Vézelay (550 inhabitants) is described in our guide book as one of France’s loveliest hilltop villages. Founded in the 9th century on a former Roman and then Carolingian site, the Basilique Ste Madeleine gained early fame as a starting point for the Santiago de Compostela pilgrimage route. It is 120m long. There is a 12th century tympanum, with a carving of an entroned Jesus radiating his Holy Spirit to the apostles. Also the 12th century crypt reputedly houses one of Mary Magdalene’s bones!

It really does have a lovely feel about it. There’s one very steep Main Street. Stopped at tourist information - most places closed today, and we asked how much to enter the basilica - lady was surprised - and said free.

Lots of shops up the street, all quite arty/crafty. There was a friendly cat on one of the window sills!

Sadly, the front of the basilica is covered up with lots of work going on. Later in an artists gallery we asked the lady about it, she said the work has been ongoing for years! They run out of money! It is a huge building!

The basilica really is beautiful - no stained glass windows, but really light inside, stonework is lovely different colours, and such intricate carving on the many arches.

Who knows what was in the crypt!

Supposedly the remains of Marie Madeleine!
Supposedly the remains of Marie Madeleine!

The views from outside were, well quite stunning. Sunny weather, so we could see for miles. As Tintin said, if someone painted the scene you wouldn’t believe all the different types of green!

Saw some random nuns walking up the street, maybe they help out in the place where pilgrims stay?

Today is the first time we’ve seen the hollyhocks in flower - also some pretty roses!

Picked up a baguette on the way back, having already been in the shop on the way up to buy a couple of pain au raison. Tintin then drove for another 20 minutes to a place called Chevroches. We are right beside the Canal du Nivernais, near the river Yonne. 

Was a tight steep descent from the road, and have since discovered a better entrance/exit!

We were going to get the bikes out and ride into Clamecy. However, the lure of sitting in our chairs, reading our books, in the shade from the heat won! (I know, not long since I was complaining about the cold and rain!).

There have been a few boats coming and going, and people cycling or walking past. I’ve just finished yet another book which I enjoyed. 

It’s nearly 8pm so might be cool enough to think about cooking now! First night we’ve eaten outside. 

Think we’ll have to go shopping tomorrow - only one bar of chocolate left - would be a disaster to run out! 

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Martin and Kay Dumont from Guernsey, first time motorhomers and ready to travel. ‘Dave’ is our Mobilvetta K Yacht 85, purchased in 2017 and travelled all the way from Italy. After following Jason and Julie Buckley’s blog 'Ourtour' for years I just couldn’t get the name ‘Dave’ out of my head. So the Mobilvetta had to be another 'Dave’. More...

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