The Cottage, Bourgogne

Here I am, sitting at the table you see in the photograph below.   The air is soft and warm already, so early in the morning, the sky blue, and we're preparing to wander out into another day.

Writing ... the internet ... they are forms of meditation for me.   Out here in Bourgogne, I am loving the sensations of this outdoor writing and reading life.

Everyday we spend long hours wandering, exploring so there's a balance I love.  Today we're back in Beaune, tidying things up as we prepare to move closer to my beloved mountains tomorrow.  I shall finally visit Mont Blanc, a mountain I read of so often in the climbing literature devoured over the years.  And that is what makes leaving this little oasis of peace and beauty bearable.

A glimpse of here ...

Cluny Abbey, France

In 910, William the Pious, Duke of Aquitaine, founded an abbey under the patronage of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, accountable directly to the Pope. The abbey grew considerably until the 12th century thanks to abbots like Odilo and Hugh of Semur, who were later canonised. 

Cluny was the mother house for over 1,000 monasteries and became the headquarters of the largest monastic order in the West: the Cluniac order.

And that is where we wandered today. 

Bourgogne is confusing me. There is so much here.  You drive 6kms and you feel you have arrived in another country ... sometimes, another time.  And we have driven so many kilometres, slowly, wandering through time and space in ways I'm not sure I've traveled before.

Cluny Abbey was a Benedictine Monastery that played a hugely influential role throughout Europe in the Middle Ages.  It had the highest arches in the Roman world and was the biggest church in Christianity. 

Sadly French revolutionaries destroyed this incredible site in 1790.  Still, it was a pleasure to wander there, learning of its history, enjoying what had survived and/or been restored.

I turned a corner searching for the 3D film room they promised us and found the corridor below there in front of me.  This is simply a snapshot but I love that it captured something of the beauty that is still the Cluny Abbey.

In Bourgogne ...

I find myself comparing the landscapes here in Bourgogne to those back in New Zealand.  Although, surely, that is the fate of the wanderer.  I find myself always layering memories of places I've lived or visited over where ever I am in the now. Looking for some kind of 'fit' or familarity.

Some mornings I wake up in Antwerp and I smell that particular smell, that heavy-traffic pollution smell, first discovered in Los Angeles,  a familiar scent back in Istanbul and now, oftentimes, there it is in Antwerp.

Here in Bourgogne it is the geography ... the lay of the land.  The vineyards that run as far as the eye can see, the hills, the lush fields.  The air is good.  And somehow the cloud formations make me imagine the coast or a huge lake is somewhere close by.  It's big sky country where we are.

Chateaus and castles are everywhere.  Sunday was spent wandering le Château de Cormatin.  Rather exquisite it was ... no echoes of 'home'.  It was particular and surely an example of 'someplace else'.  Unimagined. Unknown.

Evenings, and I've been relaxing with a short tv series out of New Zealand, Top of the Lake.  A Jane Campion creation.  I'm hooked but find the storyline disturbing.  However the scenery is so beautifully familiar.  Two episodes to go ... has promised a 'superb finale'.  Let's see how that goes.

And now?  Sunshine and Bourgogne are calling me. 

Off and wandering.

Bourgogne, France

After 4  days off-off-line, here I am ... posting a snapshot of a dinner we made in Bourgogne, France.

This region is beautiful.   Really beautiful.

I'm using my small travel laptop and I'm really not sure about the screen.  I know there's a problem with a strange kind of film over all of the images I view on it so ... I will post snapshots, tell you some stories, and wait to process the best of the beauty when I am home again.