I had heard that Conques was a very special place and had always intended to have a rest day here. As it turned out, arriving for a rest day on Sunday was perfect timing, as many came to sing in the church, since the acoustics were like heaven from another age.
I woke early and walked down to the bottom of the valley, down the steep street to the bridge, and was pleased to find my fitness had improved and I never found the ascent too taxing. I visited the chapel of St Roch, then went to Mass where the music was sublime. In this narrow tall church voices just blended.
Then I explored a little, seeing buildings from different anglesbefore finding some shade in the cloister where I wrote postcards. On this very hot day, the abbey itself was pleasantly cool inside.
A choir had come all the way from Marseille to sing in the wonderful acoustics of this church- something they did annually it seemed- and a soloist sang Ave Maria.
I just sat quietly and enjoyed the pleasure of the sounds.
The day got hotter and hotter until the inevitable happened. I was in the church listening to vespers, when the lights flickered and went out, then thunder boomed very loudly. The head priest looked concerned. I think that perhaps lightning had hit the steeple! Then rain poured down torrentially. There would be no sitting outside and watching the world go by this evening!
Paddy, who is my husband - Paddy, Patrick, is my husband. He would hate it if he knew I was writing about him. He´s English, a retired newspaperman, a thinker, a wag, a working-class ...
2 weeks ago