July 17, 2008

Day 14: 27 April - Conques -Rest Day

I had heard that Conques was a very special place and had always intended to have a rest day here. As it turned out, arriving for a rest day on Sunday was perfect timing, as many came to sing in the church, since the acoustics were like heaven from another age.

I woke early and walked down to the bottom of the valley, down the steep street to the bridge, and was pleased to find my fitness had improved and I never found the ascent too taxing. I visited the chapel of St Roch, then went to Mass where the music was sublime. In this narrow tall church voices just blended.

Then I explored a little, seeing buildings from different anglesbefore finding some shade in the cloister where I wrote postcards. On this very hot day, the abbey itself was pleasantly cool inside.
A choir had come all the way from Marseille to sing in the wonderful acoustics of this church- something they did annually it seemed- and a soloist sang Ave Maria.
I just sat quietly and enjoyed the pleasure of the sounds.
The day got hotter and hotter until the inevitable happened. I was in the church listening to vespers, when the lights flickered and went out, then thunder boomed very loudly. The head priest looked concerned. I think that perhaps lightning had hit the steeple! Then rain poured down torrentially. There would be no sitting outside and watching the world go by this evening!

No comments:

Post a Comment