Day 5 and three quarters.
We spent an incredible night at the church on the hill, Taize. Imagine a massive low roofed, gently sloping room, softly lit with thousands of tapered candles held by thousands of young people from different nations of the world, all singing medidtative hymns in praise of the God they all adore. We often didn’t know what we were singing and the prayers and readings were a little too French for most of us to handle but in all honesty that didn’t reduce from the experience at all. It was a night that most of us will find very hard to forget and I can say for my part that Taize is a place that I will do my utmost to return to.
Got up early and after a nutricious breakfast of bread dipped in coffee we set off up the old country road into the French hinterland and to our destiny. Bus trip to Nevers was uneventful apart from the constant references to how we were “Nevair” (said with outrageous French accent) going… somewhere, it didn’t really matter, we just liked saying “Nevair”. Nevers was a lovely little town place… we only really saw the church… which was lovely. Our second dead saint for the week, Saint Bernadette, looked on as we celebrated mass where Fini so eloquently challenged us to, “reach out and grab the very outstretched hand that gives us life”. Well Put. The bus ride to Chartres saw competition between the good and righteous Powderfinger lovers at the back of the bus and the evil vilanous Sound of Music lovers at the front. The highlight of the day by far however, was our education on the intricate stonework and lead-lighting of the famous thirteenth-century Chartres Cathedral, by our impressively insightful (and “magical” – I dunno, Alicia told me to write it) tour guide, Malcolm. The statues and windows together told stories spanning from The Creation to Judgement Day, with a language so well hidden behind the art, that we would have been lost without him. It was without a doubt one of the most awe-inspiring and Indiana-Jones-And-The-Last-Crusade-like moments of our journey yet.
Oh, and Brendan got some more sweet pictures of Farmer B doing crazy stuff in more famous places.
By Alicia Case and Greg Gardner.