Conques

I’ll have to start a new category I think, since this one is neither cycling nor ‘self propelled’. But it is France and beautiful and we did do a little tiny hike…so it goes in the blog.

Last weekend we did a 3-day motorcycle trip north into the Massif Central. This is an area of ancient mountains, sanded down over the millenia to somewhere between 1000 and 2000 meters. It’s also a region populated by more livestock than people, and pastoral loveliness abounds. But this entry is about Conques.

Conques (pronounced like the sound a frying pan makes when it hits a skull) is a very old village on the Chemin de St. Jacques (Camino de Santiago in Spanish – Way of St. James in English), which is as you well know by now a 1000 yr old pilgrimage route that has many departure points around Europe, but only one goal – Santiago de Compostella in far Western Spain. Conques was, and is still, a major stopping point on the way to Santiago. It has a giant Abbey, at least in relation to the size of the village, and is one the many perfectly preserved Medieval villages in France.

Here’s the view from our room.

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The tympanum of the abbey church. For the illiterate masses these things left no question as to what would happen to them if they were sent in the wrong direction after dying.

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And we did get a bit of exercise while there. This next one is taken from a rocky point on the other side of the valley from the village.

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And a couple more from the same spot.

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And although we didn’t cycle to Conque, I think it would be a most excellent idea, if you had a few more days than we had to burn. The scenery is magnificent and varied, and the route would be perfect for those who have the legs (and the will) for lots of hills.

(Sorry, something wrong with Google Maps. Map will appear soon I hope)

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