Friday, 21 April 2017

Exploring Moissac

Thursday, 20th April 2017

Just to remind us, we are not in Spain, but, in the Tarn Region of France, and, it is only mid-April, the morning starts sunny, but, decidedly cool at only 12C, but, by late morning, the temperature is improving, and we have a pleasant 20C day.

The campsite, Le Moulin du Bidounet, is, I would suspect, an ex-municipal site, I say that, because, it is "functional", ie, every thing is clean, and works, but, it is not "comfortable". 

Yesterday, in the evening, we chanced upon a Motorhome Aire, (N44 5' 55" E1 5' 36") just across the river from the Campsite, and nearer to the town of Moissac. 

It has a good level surface, EHU, and usual services, for 7Euro per day, we decide to move there.

It is all automated, with a Debit/Credit card check-in system, operating an entry/exit barrier, with instructions in French and English.

Once "settled in", we set off on foot, to
explore the town of Moissac.

Moissac turns out to be a rather pretty place. It is on both the River Tarn, and, the Canal Lateral de Garonne.

The long distance cycle track, Les Deux Mers (the two seas), passes through here, not that I think we will have time to do very much of that, on this trip.

Moissac is also on one of the many Pilgrim Routes, running through France, to Santiago de Compestela, in Spain.

There is a very impressive Abbey, which, according to the information boards was founded in the year 600, although the existing building is more recent, dating from the 1100's (recent!).

Not being at all Religious, it is the sheer scale of these old churches which impresses me, and the number of manhours which must have gone into building them and decorating them. This one is no exception, one of the things I notice, is the walls are covered in what looks like wallpaper, to modern eyes, but, it is in fact a repetitive pattern hand painted onto the plastered surface. Given the size of the building, it must have taken hundreds if not thousands of manhours to complete.

Having satisfied our culture requirements for the day (or year even), we head off in search of lunch, which we find in a very pleasant cafe on the square at the from of the Abbey.

Whilst in the Abbey, Kathleen has acquired a list of mass times for the coming weekend.

There is a slight problem, in that the mass at the Abbey, is not until 11:00 on Sunday, the day we will be leaving Moissac. There are two other places (in Moissac) listed as having Mass at more suitable times, but, try as we might, we cannot find either of them.

The problem is solved when we go exploring, in the evening, on the scooter, and find an alternative Church at a small village called Sainte Livrade, which has both a suitable parking area for the van plus trailer, and, a mass at 9:30 Sunday.

We also find a Lidl, selling Kathleen's favourite Rose Wine (White Zindanfel), I am not sure which she is most pleased about. 

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