Friday, 6 January 2012

A walk in Carcassonne

After being buffeted by strong wind and lashings of rain yesterday today has been gentle and forgiving.

I love walking around the Bastide.  If you know where to go the delights of Carcassonne stretch so much further than simply heading for the River Aude or the Canal du Midi for your stroll.  Tucked away and enveloped by the ancient wall of the Bastide Saint-Louis itself is Le Jardin du Calvaire.

After extensive renovation it opened its gates last year so that everyone could enjoy this corner of tranquillity.  Founded in 1825 and closed for over 20 years it is an important addition to the city.  This afternoon I was lucky enough to be the only person walking its winding paths of smooth worn cobblestones.  The smell of the neatly clipped yew hedges pervaded the still air.  The sky was a startling blue with clouds scurrying across overhead.  Stone statues of weary saints with their heads gently resting on their hands welcome you as you enter through the high wrought iron gates.  Tiny stone chapels with ornate carvings are dotted on the paths.  Walk up to the highest part of the garden and you get a glorious view of Carcassonne with the Montagne Noir in the distance.  Towering over you are statues of Christ depicting his suffering on the cross with a stunning twisted  ancient Yew tree.  Olive, Bay and decorative trees add to this hidden gem. It is a place where you can reflect and savour the peace.  With its exotic feel to it even in early January it's easy to imagine the summer months where it offers a wide variety of plant specimens and a respite from the heat.
Afterwards I wandered to the MuseĆ© des Beaux-Arts where the intricate works of the painter-philosopher Fred Deux were being exhibited.  He is described as "searching the mysteries of his memory, building within the darkness chapels, crypts, and tombs made of vines where images of his childhood are agglomerated in a sacred mess". More than an artist, Fred Deux is a “master”—in the antiquated sense where the term marked the spiritual value of a man. "The face of God emerges only in silence, in the steep solitude of our wounds, where the blood that pumps in our temples guides our hand towards the lesion and turns the pencil tip into the scalpel"

Search beneath the surface, open your eyes and experience what can be found simply if you know where to look.

Contrast is the spice of life.

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5 comments:

Lisa said...

Very nice Sal!

Pondside said...

How beautiful - you lucky duck!

mpprh said...

Sally, have you seen this : http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g187151-i1038-k5081837-Sally_No_11_Carcassonne-Carcassonne_Aude_Languedoc_Roussillon.html ?

Anonymous said...

Finally made it here with the kind advise of a fellow trip advisor user ....
Hello... Darn gone shy now ;0)
Just wanted to say really enjoy my little post cards from Carcassonne keep them coming and cough cough ...soon please !!;o)
Skiddy

Sallys Chateau said...

Hi Skiddy, Glad you made it over from Trip Advisor, nice to know someone out there enjoying the infrequent blog posts !