Last night, despite the cold weather, there was a good turnout of families to see this year’s lights in Cluny. Thankfully the events were not so drawn out nor so weird as usual. The Ombres Blanches, four ladies on stilts in beautiful floaty costumes led the procession through the town to the market place.
One of the shop fronts on the main street
In front of the Abbey we gathered to watch a lively performance of fire dancing and pyrotechnics with Lughna by Cie l’Arche en sel.
Don’t try this at home
After another wander round town we returned to find the Abbey open, and the four ombres blanches were leading a procession round the cloisters. Following behind was the semeur d’étoiles, alias Gérard Thélier, our resident historian.
The ombres blanches in the Abbey
Le semeur d’étoiles
It was nice to see the children so enthralled. The evening was cut short as the horse spectacular was cancelled. Just as well as the snow had begun to fall and it was nice to get home to a warm fire.
Whilst in the market this morning we happened across Gerard Thélier, a great aficionado of Cluny with a big personality. Originally from St-Cloud, Gerard Thélier travelled the world before coming to settle in Cluny. He has worked as a documentary film maker, photographer and artist, and has written several books on the abolition of slavery and the history of Cluny, notably C’était hier Cluny. Now retired, he organises cultural and historical events and is a consultant for heritage exhibitions.
Gerard is going to be very busy all summer as he is conducting tours around medieval Cluny most Monday and Saturday afternoons at 1.30pm. He will not be hard to spot as he will be dressed as a knight of the 11th century.
He is also leading tours by torchlight around the nearby Clunisoise villages. It will be the turn of Cortambert on 3rd July and 25th August, 8.45pm to 10.15pm. The times and dates of all the walks can be found on the Cluny tourism website www.cluny-tourisme.com.
Also new this year, you can hire a tablet from the Office of Tourism or just download the app that leads you on a tour round medieval Cluny. Call me old fashioned but I would much prefer to go with Gerard! He has such an engaging personality that I am sure his guided walks will be amazing.