Thursday, 18 March 2010

Le Pont Vieux

Le Pont Vieux, the Old Bridge leading of course to the famous La Cité.  I have now crossed over this bridge countless times since moving to Carcassonne.  I never tire of admiring and marvelling in its history.  It sounds decidedly corny but whatever the time of day or the month, whatever weather conditions Mother Nature decides to throw at us the sight of the River Aude bubbling away under this ancient monument always lifts my heart.  Whether with friends, family or simply alone, with or without my beloved camera there is always plenty of life to observe both crossing over it and beneath its ancient elegant arches.

During the past few weeks I have struggled over in a blizzard, a freak fall of snow, the heaviest in twenty five years apparently when only days previously people were languidly strolling over and thinking spring had arrived. On one side you have a stunning view of the Pyrenees, last week drenched in snow, on the other the Black Mountains spreading along the skyline.

Along the banks are lovely footpaths to enjoy, surprisingly empty at this time of year.  There are plenty of secluded places to sit and watch the world go by, a gentle climb before the menacing spectacle of the looming shadows of the castle.  Large flat rocks make ideal perches for children and adults alike to dangle their feet in the clear cooling shallow waters.   A plantation of pines and cyprus bushes should fill the air with a Meditteranean aroma when the hot sun arrives and I spy picnic benches under their branches.

We paused for a while, The Small Cross One and I on Mothers Day warming our backs in the afternoon sun and watching someone meditate alone on the rocks.  We contemplated the simple pleasures that are so readily and freely available right here on our doorstep.

'I never imagined it would be so peaceful here' I said outloud whilst privately wishing I had landed here far sooner for I for one need more than a view to nourish my soul. ' 'We should have moved here before now,' she echoed my thoughts.

And I sat and contemplated the fast racing water rushing along, for however quickly time slips by sometimes an awful lot of water has to flow under the bridge before you get to where you want.

13 comments:

Preseli Mags said...

That last comment about water under the bridge is profound and so true. And there's definitely something in the human soul that needs to sit on a rock and dangle its toes into water. I couldn't do that here today though - not if I value my toes!

muddyboots said...

the old bridge, yes & doesn't it have the most amazing views of La Cité, when we both walked across it back in December, on one of the last warm days of 2009, l had visions of the past epic battles that had taken place there as well as wondering if you needed a fishing permit to catch the trout that were swimming in the river below.

Sallys Chateau said...

Preseli Mags, I think it may be a foolhardy act to dip toes into water just yet but it cant be too long !!

Sallys Chateau said...

muddyboots I saw someone fishing on Sunday, I think the season opened on Saturday, I must find out about permits for the visitors.

Pondside said...

Riches for the eyes and the soul.
Isn't it lovely to be so 'in sync' with your daughter? You can both take satisfaction in knowing that you did make the move, when others would have stayed in a rut.

her at home said...

A move well worth waiting for and all the better for that, and my what treasures are in store for you as you explore your new kingdom! What a wonderful start to Spring!

mountainear said...

Very reflective - and how true.

Chris Stovell said...

What a lovely post. Carcassonne sounds ravishing but the nicest part about your post was hearing that you and your daughter were in agreement about moving there.

eleanor's byre said...

What is so lovely Sally, is that there seems such an air of contentment in your writing.
May your new home continue to be what you want it to be.

Brown Dog said...

Sounds like you've 'come home' Sally. It does sound lovely and peaceful, and drenched in history and culture, too. I know what you mean about needing more than a view to nourish the soul. xx

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Ah. This post made me feel the sun on my back.

Anonymous said...

sorry, but le Vieux Pont is in reality le Pont-Vieux...

Sallys Chateau said...

Anonymous, thank you so much for pointing out the error, you will see that I have amended.