Tom & Sue May 26 Notre Dame de Marcielle & Rennes-le-Chateau

Bon Jour
 
Today was the first day we hadn’t set the alarm and we got up around 8:30. We ran down to breakfast not wanting to miss it.  Jo and Roy had a large array of breads, pastries,fruit, cereal, cheese, butter and jams.  After juice and some coffee we ate only a little.  Just knowing food was available did the trick.  Today is another holiday and everything is again closed but we may get lucky and find a lone restaurant open.
 
This was great, our first 2 day stay. We didn’t have to load the car and unload later at another destination. Our plan was to visit our first shrine whenever we got there for Susan had e-mailed and found out they didn’t close at 12. We headed out at 10:45 and was at the shrine by 11:15. On  the way we saw a supermarket that was open and planned to stop on the way  back.
 

Entrance to Notre Dame de Marcielle
Entrance to Notre Dame de Marcielle

There were people coming out of the shrine and we weren’t alone as more people arrived.  This was a very old church with several separate  naves.

Closeup of the statue at Notre Dame de Marcielle
Closeup of the statue

The statue of our Lady was in the chapel of the Blessed Mother in a niche carved out of the stone. She had a glass front and a steel grate over it  so no one could get to her.  She was stolen once and found 2 years later  in an antique shop far away. Almost like when she was first found and moved and kept returning on her own to the place where this church now stands.
 

Sue signing the prayer intention book at Notre Dame de Marcielle
Sue signing the prayer intention book

Everyone left, so Susan sat at the intention book and wrote as much as she could since it was the last page. We left the pages of all the intentions out in front of Our Mother and said our Rosary for all of you, another peaceful experience.
 
On the way out we walked down the old stone road that was built by the  Romans to the well of the Miraculous spring.  The spring had a grate cove  to keep animals out of it and Susan with head in the niche was trying to figure out how to get the bottle thru the grate.  I said lit it up and she did andit came up so she filled the bottle and blessed herself and I dove in and did the same. Many cures have been attributed to this water and we will add it to our concoction of holy waters from Miraculous springs we have  collected from all over Europe and Turkey.  We are up to 18.
 

Had to settle for store-bought bread...a tragedy in France!
Had to settle for store-bought bread…a tragedy in France!

On the way back we just made it to the supermarket.  They closed at 1:00 and in 10 minutes we scurried around and put together a new sandwhich. The fresh bread was totally anniliated so we had to get store bread.   That’s a real bummer in France!
 

On the way back I detoured up the mountain to the Rennes-le-Chateau, a very small town with an old church, castle and shops and homes that have been added over the years.
 
Susan was not a happy camper.  This was a very narrow road with no side rails and sharp high turns.  I was careful since it was a little hairy and all I think Sue said all the way up was remind me not to talk to you later. 
LOL
 
We we got to the top her first words were “Thanks Roy”, our host for he was the one who told us about it.  It is a cute little mountain-top  village that, for hundreds of years, was used by the locals as a shelter against invading armies since they could not get up there so it was easy to  defend.
 

The Magdala Tower in Rennes-le-Chateau
The Magdala Tower

The aura of this place came when a Priest, back in 1885, arrived in the village and created a magnificent estate which remains there today. It includes the Magdala Tower.  He also renovated the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene. 

The enigmatic Priest lived a high life and spent a fortune.  It was rumored that he had found a treasure.
 

Entrance to the town of Rennes-le-Chateau
Entrance to the town

There were also rumors that this is the place where Mary Magdalene was buried.  Many books have been written about the area … the most famous  being Dan Brown’s Divinci Code which he drew inspiration for his book from  this legend.
 
I dragged Susan into the car and strapped her in for the descent … much against her will.  She wasn’t bad going down, though … only a few ooohs and aaaaahs.
 
Returning to our B&B around 3:00 P.M., we parked and walked a short  way to the local Village Church which had some lovely side Chapels.  It  is sad that there are so many beautiful small Churches in France where Jesus  is present, but Masses are rarely held because of the lack of Priests … this was one of those Churches.
 
Taking our food goodies with us, we went up to our room, locked the door, put on our jammies and spent the rest of the day catching up on Trip Reports,  E-Mails, etc.  I made us a “small” sandwich for dinner.
 
 We retired at about 7:30 P.M. for a long night of sleep  (hopefully).
 
P.S.  The leftover sand will be our late lunch tomorrow.
 
Au Revoir

We fly to thy patronage, O holy Mother  of God;
Despise not our petitions in our necessities, but deliver us always  from
all dangers,
O glorious and blessed Virgin.
Amen.

Love and Hugs

Susan and Tom

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