Friday, September 23, 2005

More Nice ...

That is not bad grammar so cut it out! That is what would be the title of a series of photos if I had a camera instead of it being in the pannier that bounced off the back of the bike on The Sr Boy's ride in the filthy night to meet me in Italy. (skip ahead if you have already heard this....) Somewhere, someone in Italy is enjoying (I hope) a set of spares and tools for the bike, our elderly digital camera, my Italian guidebooks, and Himself's spare socks. Mostly replaced in markets and shops except for the Allen keys and guidebooks (hoping next Adventuress brings replacements). Could have bought the Allen keys in Antibes (some people go for the sun, I go for Allen keys) but was told "don't bother, I'll get them". He still doesn't have them.

So far in France: Vence by bus including a return trip during rush hour in the rain (NOT to be repeated ever ever ever!!) and Antibes by train including not knowing where to catch the bus back to this hostel and walking several unnecessary blocks at the end of an already long walking day (see above brackets). Vence is a hill town and among other things has a cathedral with stones dated from 239 (no, I did not miss a 1) and more walls and more stones. It also has a chapel designed by Henri Matisse which was the point of the pilgrimage. There will now be a brief pause for all you i/n junkies to google Matisse and the Chapel of the Rosary in Vence. For the rest of you, try to imagine a worship space (including the furnishings and the vestments) full of symbolism and light that took him two years to think through and design. Considering that it was completed in the early 1950s, it is still remarkably contemporary and lovely. I particularly liked the slab of stone altar set on an angle so the celebrant was facing east and could see both the nuns in the choir and the congregation. That the stone was the colour of the bread we eat for breakfast here was a bonus. Malhereusement, it was a cloudy day and the beautiful play of colour from the translucent and opaque stained glass was not apparent on the white of the rest of the space. It was a profoundly moving experience, even the German students who mostly filled the place were quietly attentive to the nun giving the explanations in heavily accented English. We walked back to the village as the rain started to sprinkle down and hid out under the plane trees while waiting for the bus. The trip home was not for the claustrophobic!

The computers here are not time limited but manner limited so I will stop here for the time being and head for the market in Cours Saleya: fresh flowers, fruit and vegetables for the pre-trip feast for TSB who leaves tomorrow.

Au revoir et a demain.

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