Tag: Tolkein

France 2024 – days 12 & 13

Day 12 Coulon cycling – 19th May, 2024

Looks like the weather pattern for Coulon at the moment is sunshine in the morning, rain (for rain read thunderstorms) in the afternoon so off we pop for a cycle in the morning, hopefully a little further this time. The ‘Grand Coin Canal’ runs alongside the campsite and we have cycled or walked part of it previously, this time we want to cycle as far as Le Mazeau and complete a round before the rain kicks in. The cycle path is wide (good job because Janette hates cycling on narrow tow paths in the UK) and we make good progress, on arriving at Le Mazeau we find a café next to the canal and stop for a coffee.

Le Mazeau coffee stop on the Grand Coin Canal

As usual I am tempted by the tartelettes but manage to resist as we have brought our lunch with us. Whilst sitting having coffee we notice the ‘boat boy’ (who gets the boats ready for the punters) collecting crayfish out of a basket drawn from the canal, obviously baited to attract the crayfish – I assume their human equivalent of ice cream or even tartelettes.

Le Mazeau – crayfish

Le Mazeau – punters being punted

Having confused the waitress asking for café au lait (she thought I wanted coffee with water – must be the accent – or lack of I should say) we drank our coffee (eventually with milk) and cycled onwards. We passed a lovely small campsite vowing to return one day (how often have we done that?) and made our way to a small village for lunch. In fact the same one we went during our ‘Days of Thunder’ trip but approached from a different direction. We met our campsite neighbours who said they seemed to be going around in circles after the demise of their Mrs. Garmin – we pointed them in the direction of Le Mazeau which seemed to appease their angst. Post lunch we decided to strike back for Hilma as we could see those damn thunder clouds gathering again. We didn’t make it in time! Annoyingly our neighbours came back about 4 hours later and said they hadn’t got wet – we didn’t believe them! Impossible!

Day 13 Coulon to Aubusson – 20th May, 2024

A travelling day today and heading off to our beloved Aubusson (see France 2018), the centre of the universe for tapestry. We wanted to catch up on more of the Tolkein tapestries we had previously seen 6 years ago. They were due to be finished in 2020 with all to be hung in the Aubusson University, it was our aim to go and see them all finished but we all know what happened in 2020! The world stopped. We arrived late afternoon and the plan was to stroll through town and visit the tapestries in the morning. I decided to double check opening times and found it was closed on Tuesdays at this time of year, we hurriedly decided to spend the last hour in the exhibition and so glad we did. We found some contemporary tapestries based on stills from the animated films of Hayao Miyazaki, they were vibrant and very different, we loved them, and I vowed in my head to search out the films on return to the UK.

Hayao Miyazaki -Princess Mononoke tapestry

Hayao Miyazaki -Princess Mononoke – detail of tapestry (you can see the threads – amazing)

Hayao Miyazaki – Le Chateau Ambulant tapestry

Hayao Miyazaki -La peur de Hauru – Le Chateau Ambulant tapestry

Hayao Miyazaki -La peur de Hauru – Le Chateau Ambulant – detail of tapestry

Tolkein tapestry – Rivendell

There were four of the Tolkein tapestries non of which we had seen completed on our last visit. This place is so inspirational from an artistic and cultural perspective the one hour we had was far from enough and although we have said it many times we WILL return to this wonderful place – we have fallen in love with it.