Date
June 16th, 2019
Author
Kay

16.06.19 - Made Chicken Biryani last night, with enough for tonight too! FaceTimed my Mum - her and technology are not a good mix! Hope you had a lovely time in Jersey today - finally!

Watched another episode of Killing Eve. Only one more to go, decided we’d leave it for another day, as it was getting late. 

I read that some people are complaining about the ability to download the whole series, as this leads to binge watching. I sort of agree, but on the fence really, sometimes I forget from one week to the next what happened previously - which perhaps detracts from enjoyment as you have to think back before getting into it!

Week 8, run 3 - done ✅. If I’m honest, all yesterday I was dreading running today as I knew we were on a hilltop town, so would be hilly. I wish I could take some of my own advice - don’t worry about something until it happens, be in the moment - and all relevant cliches! As it was, we both found it ok (despite Tintin’s copious amount of Rosè wine last night!). One road was a bit hilly, but then we found a long shaded avenue, and it was lovely to get out of the sun!

It was only 8am on a Sunday, and just off the avenue of trees there was some kind of motorcycle meeting going on, with loud talking over the loudspeakers, and quite a few people about...

Spoken with both our children today, FaceTiming to wish Tintin a happy Father’s Day. To be honest, it had escaped our notice! First chatted with Sarah, she has a few blisters from yesterday, but enjoyed the ball last night...

Another slow start to the day. Serviced Dave, and then I drove to the Fontenay Abbey, which took about 40 minutes. Entrance fee was €20 for both of us. The abbey was founded by Saint Bernard in 1118, and restored to its medieval glory a century ago. You take a look around at where the Cistercian monks lived their live of contemplation, prayer and manual labour. Set in a wooded valley, it includes an unadorned Romanesque church, a barrel-vaulted monks’ dormitory, landscapes gardens and Europe’s first metallurgical factory, with a water driven forge from 1220. The abbey was wealthy from the 12th to 15th century with a community of over 200 monks. It went into decline in the 16th century as the commendam system was introduced, the abbots were no longer elected by monks, but appointed by the King. The abbey is now owned privately by the Aynard family and classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. 

The buildings are all empty! The church has some Gregorian chanting being played in the background. The dormitory’s ceiling looks like an upside down hull of a ship. The rule of St Benedict stipulated that all the monks slept in the same room. The cloisters were lovely to wander through. There was only one room which would have been heated (apart from the kitchen fire). 

Cloisters
Cloisters
Church
Church
Dormitory
Dormitory

The forge is 53m long, and was built towards the end of the 12th century. Iron ore was mined nearby, and the water power generated by the stream activated a hydraulic hammer (first invented here!), which could beat iron. 

Forge building
Forge building
Artisans at work
Artisans at work

The picture of the 35m high tree was planted in 1780!

We saw the dog go for a dip in the trout pond!

Some of the reviews had said that it was the most beautiful, most peaceful, best place in the world. Jury is out! Yes, peaceful, well maintained, lovely to experience - but possibly more expensive than it needs to be. We’ve found that quite a lot when UNESCO get involved!

We could have stayed there for the night, but I drove another 45 minutes to Noyers-sur-Serein. Not really a pleasant drive, as the rode surface wasn’t good for a lot of it!

This town is another medieval town, cobbled streets, stone gateways with 15th and 16th century gabled houses. Some are so oldie worldly that they look fake!

The old church doesn’t have much going for it! Smells damp inside, and no really beautiful redeeming features! However, overall a lovely little town. Again, not particularly busy. 

Tintin hadn’t seen a 2CV like that one before!

FaceTimed Jamie, Bel and Jack. J’s first Father’s Day! Jack is very pleased with himself - and sitting up well unaided. So much to learn!

We’re parked in the shade of the trees, which is good - it’s actually been sunny all of today - and Dave is quite hard to cool down when there’s not much of a breeze. 

Some more pics from the Abbey

The monks room
The monks room
Panoramic picture of the square cloisters
Panoramic picture of the square cloisters
Ornate arch leading from the cloisters
Ornate arch leading from the cloisters
Simple bell tower
Simple bell tower
Us!
Us!
Dave enjoying the grass
Dave enjoying the grass
Cloisters
Cloisters
The entrance
The entrance
Magpie who came close
Magpie who came close
In the church
In the church
The church, very simple
The church, very simple

Some more pics from Noyers

Old winding petrol pump, goes with the town really
Old winding petrol pump, goes with the town really
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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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