Travel quote of the day: Dirk Bogarde describes a French cathedral

Cathedral Notre Dame de Puy, Grasse, Provence.  Source

Cathedral Notre Dame de Puy, Grasse, Provence. Source

 

I’ve been reading Dirk Bogarde to get my mind off things.

The bells summoned us over the hills and little valleys, across the groves and fields. Turning the last corner before climbing up to the town, the cathedral suddenly burst upon the astonished eye lit all over, glowing amber and gold, standing high on the ramparts like an enormous galleon, except galleons don’t have towers and belfries; but it had a sailing splendour about it.  Inside the great doors, the huge stone pillars soared into the shadowy vault of the roof with a faded coat of arms painted on to the planked ceiling.   The scent of incense, of hundreds of years of incense, loitered and meandered about, mixing with the fatty smell of melting tallow, as a thousand candles guttered and glittered in the draught, throwing dancing shadows across the rough stone walls, all gold and silver.  Honey-light on the limestone pillars, cracked and gouged here and there from a distant, devastating fire which had almost once destroyed the cathedral.

Dirk Bogarde, Le Pigeonnier

Dirk Bogarde’s got a pretty impressive website.

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