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 Percherons

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!

 

September 23, 2017

Notre Dame des Roches

View over the Grosne Valley from Notre Dame des Roches

 

The statue of Notre Dame des Roches can be seen high on the hill overlooking Varanges. She was erected after the war to give thanks that the local villages had not been bombed as had Cluny in June 1944.  She had been restored at least once since the 1950s but she was looking rather forlorn, especially as her nose had been used for target practice.

Fortunately Marianne and Peter from Switzerland have come to stay in Cortambert. They are sculptors and painters who specialise in restorations. They took over the old mill at Merzé and have spent several years renovating it. Marianne is a member of the society Cortambert, notre patrimoine, and she and Peter with the other members were keen to take on this local project.

First things first, the scaffolding was borrowed from Yves at the château of Boutavent.

Yves supervising the erection of the scaffolding

Just finished!

Not everything went to plan as there was not enough water power to use the pressure washer and the statue had to be scrubbed by hand. The left hand had been badly repaired before and looked like it should belong to a boxer, but Peter did what he could to make it more elegant. The nose was rebuilt and now the madonna looks quite beautiful.

Before…

and after

David, chief co-ordinator, with Peter and Marianne giving a toast to a job well done

and some of the other volunteers

There was a little celebration this afternoon on completion of the work. The scaffolding will be taken down next week, and sometime soon there will be an official gathering of dedication for the newly restored Notre Dame des Roches.

 

September 9, 2017

Summer holidays

Filed under: Village Life — Tags: — Mary @ 22:27

It’s the rentrée and I realise I haven’t blogged all summer. So tonight it’s like going back to primary school, writing an account of what I did in the summer holidays. Thankfully with no corrections in red pen these days.

I fetched Maggie and Jo from Glasgow and they stayed with us for the whole six weeks of their holidays. Here are some photos to show how we kept them occupied.

 

The girls spent a great deal of time in the water - here’s a mermaid in our pool

Sometimes we were invited to swim in our neighbours’ pool

When it was too hot we stayed in and Grandpa helped the girls make baskets

Another successful project was making Lego trains with electric motors

One weekend there was a medieval festival at Brançion

Jo dressed up in chain mail

The Brançion event led to an interest in making ‘medieval’ dresses and dancing

Help was always welcome in the garden

and we all looked after Gwendy

Maggie & Jo liked having a ride on the ponies

Adventurous days out included going to Lugny Acro

and the zoo at Touroparc

We watched jumping competitions in Cluny

and jousting on the river

We bet on the winners at Cluny races

and the donkey got some petting

Some days we went out for a bike ride

Having a break on the voie verte near Cluny

There’s a good place for offroad biking at St Gengoux

We went for walks in the woods

In the fairy den our neighbour made this sign – Jojo’s Hollow

We met more fairies at the Pays des Fees in Ameugny

Our friend Ruth gave the girls a lesson in baking

The girls prepared snails for eating. However the snails were persuaded to escape in the nick of time!

Even on a hot day the girls enjoyed the exercise circuit at the park in Mâcon

It was a good summer and we hope the girls will want to come and stay again next summer. Meanwhile we are planning new things to do with them.

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