We write today from a beautiful but somewhat remote part of France, among the independent and practical spirits of the Bas-Vivarais region of the Ardèche. Eugène-Melchior de Vogüé said of these people, “Ils ne sont pas grands théoriciens d’abstractions.” “They are not great theorists of abstractions.”
It may be true, what Vogüé said, and he would have known, having lived among the Ardèchiens for his entire life, but we find the area absolutely fascinating, full of natural wonders, fine fruits and wines, and kindly people. We also found a friend.
PJ and I made plans to meet up with Nathan Mizrachi, known to readers of Via Lucis as the author of his Life is a Camino site. Nathan is in the midst of a year-long journey in Europe where he walked the Compostela pilgrimage route and has drunk deeply from the European well. He is spending the week with us photographing the churches that are the original reason for our vist to this region.
The churches are small, fairly well preserved, and filled with small touches of genius. I won’t comment any more, but let the buildings speak for themselves.
To demonstrate that Nathan hasn’t been just loafing around, here is a shot of his from Cruas.
In a few days, Nathan resumes his peregrinations through Europe via Carcassonne while PJ and I continue to the Provence, familiar territory but filled with some of the finest Romanesque churches in France. We’ll post on that next week when we get a chance.