Legends from our own lunchtimes

Monday, August 06, 2018

The Ruin of Us.
Thursday 2nd August - Thuin to Landelies

Aulne Abbey has waited patiently for our visit since the eleventh century, some of it since the eighth. It was pillaged then torched during the French Revolution and is now mostly shored-up as a reminder of all that has gone before, but it’s still worth taking an intriguing few hours to wander its cloisters.

Given that the world around us was melting in the heat, more sensible folk than we may have stopped right beside it to break their journey.  Perhaps they might have taken a leisurely morning tea in its shadow after the visit, before continuing slothfully on their way.  We are made of sterner stuff so sailed blithely on to find a haven for the night first, intent on walking the few kilometres back in the cool of the afternoon. 

The blistering tarmac underfoot perhaps could have been interpreted as a sign of how badly we had miscalculated what little cool there would actually be on this particular afternoon, but we set off anyway, undeterred.  On arriving at the Abbey, witnesses may have described us as hot and just a little bothered, but not so much that a cool drink on a shady cafe verandah could not repair entirely. By the time the Abbey gates closed in the early evening, perhaps soothed by the balm of its history, our return journey did in fairness, turn out to be just a tiny bit more pleasant.

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