Our Life in Burgundy

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The Blog: Our life in Burgundy

September 25, 2017

The 20th anniversary of the Voie Verte

Filed under: Events,People,Places — Tags: , , — Mary @ 17:28

In 1997 the department of Saône-et-Loire constructed the first 44km of the Voie Verte  by concreting the disused railway line between Cluny and Givry. Today there is a continuous cycleway extending 300km, in the north joining the Voie Bleue along the Canal du Centre. Extra circuits called boucles are waymarked cycle rides which direct you round the villages and local points of interest and take you back to the voie verte again. Specially created paths link the various sections together and now there are plans to link all the 600km of paths in Burgundy and extend them to join the cycle paths of the Loire and the Voie Bressane, as well as the Voie Bleue running along the banks of the Saône.

So there were lots of events happening at the old stations along the voie verte over the weekend. St Gengoux kicked off with picnics, guided cycle rides and an stunt bike show, ending with a giant selfie taken by drone, and aperos with the cave des Vignerons de Buxy-St Gengoux.

We cycled down to Massilly on Sunday afternoon to hear the speeches given by the mayor, and other local dignitaries.

The mayor of Massilly, Alain De Javel, flanked by Jean-Luc Delpeuch (Communité des Communes Clunisois) and Jean-Luc Fonteray (Conseillor Général of the canton of Cluny)

There was an interesting exhibition photos from the time the railway was built. We were given straw hats by Jean-Marc which proved really useful as, despite it being the end of September, the sun was very hot.

The station at Massilly

We pedalled on to the Plan d’Eau at Cormatin where there was a very much more noisy celebration with the group Drugstöre Rock giving its all. Rather too loud however for the ladies making lace nearby.

Drugstöre Rock

Later Sabrina Sow from Equinoctis appeared with three horses and a foal. The foal was a great hit with its antics. It could not seem to step over the ringside to join its mum and gambolled at the side. Mum was completely unconcerned.

Sabrina Sow with her mare and foal

and on one of her Pecherons

Grazing peacefully afterwards on the Plan d’Eau

A good time was had by all. Here’s to the next 20 years of cycling on the Voie Verte!

 

May 25, 2017

Art in Cormatin

 

Cormatin is becoming more and more a centre for pottery and creative arts. There’s a super show this week at l’entre2, the exhibition space created by Patrick & Martine adjoining their jewellery business, L’atelier de Galadrielle. It’s on the right as you enter Cormatin from the south.

 

Patrick & Silvyane with Chris outside l’entre2

Exhibited is the work of Patrick Ballériaud and his partner Silvyane Sabato. Patrick can turn his hand to any form of drawing or painting, watercolours, pastels, oils, charcoal or pen & ink. He illustrates books and is skilled at portraiture. He drew the portrait of the last Curé of Cormatin which hangs in the hall at la Maison du Curé. He also teaches a variety of courses. Chris & I enjoyed a day out learning to paint landscapes. Coming up on the 10th June is a day sketching along the voie verte, picnic provided, and in July there will be a life drawing course.

Silvyane’s specialty is working with wire. She and Patrick published ’La Vie’ a poem written by Silvyane and illustrated by Patrick’s paintings, with the key phrases picked out by Silvyane and transformed into wire sculptures. I can also vouch for her wonderful cooking as she caters for Patrick’s art courses.

Do go along and meet Patrick and Silvyane in Cormatin.  More of their work and contact details can be found on www.studioballeriaud.fr

May 16, 2017

Walking the Ban Sacré

Filed under: People,Places — Tags: , , , — Mary @ 17:29

Members of the local heritage society have recently been engaged in marking out the ban sacré, a circular route drawn around Cluny in 1095. At that time the third stage of the building of Cluny Abbey was well advanced and the rapidly increasing numbers of monks found themselves in need of protection from attack and robbery.  Hugues de Semur, the Abbot under Pope Urbain II, decreed that within the confines of the ban sacré nobody could carry arms. The penalty was excommunication from the church, a serious punishment in those days. The ban sacré followed existing paths, waymarked with stones carved with the sign of the crossed keys and the arms of the Abbey.

Last October a group of 20 under the guidance of Raymond, the leader of Cortambert, notre Patrimoine, spent two days walking the 46km trail. They started at Donzy and passed through Berzé-le-Châtel, Le Bois Clair and Sainte-Cécile, to spend the night at the Domaine Saint-Laurent at Château. Next day they continued to Croix Micaud, Lournand and finished in Varanges.

There was a little bit of the ban sacré left to do, from Varanges to Donzy, and yesterday we joined the group to complete it.  It was lovely weather and here’s a few photos of the afternoon.

Raymond (right) demonstrates how the divining rods can help find buried stone waymarkers

We paused at Notre Dame des Roches, erected just after the war by Cortambert, Donzy and Blanot to give thanks for being spared the bombing. Cluny was bombed in June 1944.

The view back to the Grosne valley was well worth the climb

There are lots of lovely walking trails around here, and thanks to Raymond and the members of Cortambert, notre Patrimoine, we can now follow the ban sacré around Cluny.

 

May 14, 2017

Flashmob in Azé

Filed under: Events,People,Places — Tags: , , — Mary @ 20:35

 

The market place in Azé. The cedar of Lebanon was planted in 1821 and is now a national monument

 

There was a surprise event in the market in Azé this morning, a flashmob choir by Cant’Azé. Anne bravely started off and, shopping baskets in hand, the other members of the choir wandered in to add their voices. They were soon joined by their choir master David Aubret on the accordion. Here’s a part of it on video -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_o1zdClTGVk

David Aubret leads the choir…

 

and here are some of the ladies

Then suddenly the market was back to normal

Cant’Azé have gone from strength to strength with David, who unfortunately will be leaving them soon. The choir’s future is in doubt unless they can find a replacement for him.

Another chance to see David Aubret perform on the accordion will be on Sunday May 28th. See the information on www.clunisois.fr/agenda/evenement/concert-du-vent-dans-les-cordes

 

 

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