Thursday, July 8, 2010

Caves et Musee de Brantome...

Many apologies for not blogging for so long, but Paris, Nice, Italy and my love were all worth a little more focus. I am back in Brantome and Alex is back in Berkeley now, so I will be a better blogger again. I've got lots of catch up to do, but thankfully I had a few drafts so I won't have to start totally from scratch...

Before I left for Paris, Kim and I took a rainy day as an opportunity to explore the caves and abbey of Brantome that are just down the street from her house. The church that is attached to the abbey is one of old stone with stained glass
windows and benches that have been prayed on for hundreds of years. One of
the most interesting facts about the church is that there is a holy relic with a piece of bone said to be from a child slain by Harrod's hand! The abbey is now used mostly for the city offices. There is also a library, and a belltower that we really wanted to see, but of course they are open every day except for Tuesday!

The caves, like all caves in my opinion, were very interesting. What I feel makes them even more so is the fact that they aren't just caves in some remote location used only for tours. These caves can be seen from most anywhere in Brantome and there are shops, restaurants and even homes that have been built into parts of them.

My favorite part of the day however was not the caves, it was in the art gallery where bizarrely enough there is an animatronic replica of a local artist from the late 1800's I believe. When the "attraction" would buzz on the artist's hand would fly rapidly across the page he's drawing on whilst he whispered in French, "Oui"..."Non"...It was the best kind-of tacky there is! The story behind the artist was that later in his career he began to have an interest in the occult and
participated in seances where he met several spirits who would tell him what to draw when he was in one of his trances. I feel like I could believe it too, the before work of the artist were mostly basic landscapes and scenery whereas the "possesed" ones were these beautiful etheral people, women with yellowish glows and flowers in their hair. They didn't have postcards of those paintings, but I did sneak a picture of the animatronic artist himself! (Sorry it's so dark.)

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