Our last post was on the difficulty of photographing the churches in Italy. We have returned to France and the contrast could not be more obvious. On our first day back we found ourselves in the Haute-Loire department of the Auvergne and we photographed three magnificent churches, all without interruption.
The only time that anybody approached uswas to welcome us and tell us about the cloister that was not readily apparent on the north side of the church in Chamalières-sur-Loire. A very nice woman was cleaning bird droppings off of her car – Les oiseaux sont diabolique aujourd’hui. When she saw me unloading the camera equipment, she approached and started chatting about the church, which is her local place of worship. She asked if there was a place to see our photos so I gave her our calling card with the web address.
She called out to someone and her husband came out to join us, wearing a tie under his natty sweater. As we were leaving, he pulled out the tie and said, “Look, I’m wearing a nice tie today!” Ah, France.
Today we will continue our adventures in this stunning region around Le Puy-en-Velay. The weather has been perfect – sunny wand warm, with fields full of red and yellow poppies, mustard, scotch broom and wild flowers. There are a number of reasons that the Auvergne is one of our favorite places in France, and a beautiful day like this and a land full of open Romanesque churches is heaven on earth for us.
Today we go to Saint Dier d’Auvergne to see the church in this small town. We have been informed that the key to the church is at the house next door, la maison qui touche l’église. Sometimes things are so simple.