When the alarm went off this morning, it was hard to get out of my cozy sleeping bag. Our night at the Abbaye was the quietest night’s sleep we have had so far, and it was wonderful. After finishing our breakfast of fresh bread and homemade jams and fresh coffee (just like there will be heaven), we walked out of the Abbaye grounds onto the VF once again.
Our steps were lively after almost a day of rest at the Abbaye. I highly recommend staying at Abbaye Notre Dame in Wisques where you will be welcomed with smiles and amazingly generous hospitality. Soeur Lucy will make you feel at home. Mark and I both agreed that we felt restored mentally, physically, and spiritually this morning. Yesterday we were dragging our feet, but today we bounce.
We walked through a land of legends. We crossed the Aa River (a favorite of French crossword writers) .
Next we walked along Brunhilde’s Way. She was a queen in the 7th century and did a lot to restore the roads. She had a famous ferocity, but met a tragic end by being dragged to death behind a horse, tied by her hair.
In contrast to the ancient history, we walked past modern marvels as well. Our first up-close encounter with the modern windmills came this morning in Pays de Calais. The stiff breeze today made the morning refreshing up high on the hilltops. Shortly afterwards however, we came across this…no words can describe it, so you just have to watch the video to get an appreciation.
Well, after that “encounter” we finished up the day somewhat uneventfully. However at lunch, a moment transpired that is hard to describe. Sitting on a non-descript bench, next to a cemetery, alongside a country road, in no-where France, it struck me again. “How did we get HERE?” I mean, what in life brought us to be in this place at this moment? We both laughed at how content we were in a situation that few would understand.
But there we were, eating our dry tuna sandwich and partially shriveled green pepper on two-day-old bread, in mildly smelly clothes, on this less than pristine road-side bench. We knew instantly that some/most of our friends wouldn’t necessarily be enjoying this, but for us, it was just a wonderful moment. Pilgrims reading this – you know this feeling of contentment to which I am referring, but to others, you just have to trust me – there is real joy to be found here.
We had covered 21.79 kilometers by noon and surprised ourselves by reaching our end point for the day just 15 minutes after eating lunch. Our pace averaged 4.4 kilometers per hour which is pretty fast for us. We could have continued but the next lodging would have been just as far to walk so we called it a day.
The only lodging choice in Therouanne is the Gite Eden. What a fantastic place. The owners have a passion for helping pilgrims and love their city’s history. We learned from them that the route actually is shorter tomorrow than we’d expected. Alain, the owner of the Gite Eden, helped us book our lodging for the next evening. Just a step outside the door of the gite you can see a market and a bakery. Plus the gite itself has a washer and dryer and a well stocked kitchen. Yup, dinner tonight will be pasta cooked in the kitchen by us. Sometimes cooking for ourselves is such a luxury.
Well folks, that is it for tonight. I have several other videos to share and so much to say, but there is no WiFi here so videos are tough*. I will close with this final picture taken while our laundry was drying, and we had a few moments to explore the nearby church.
I did add a small story about Therouanne in the History Bits page.
* The strength of the Wifi sometimes prohibited the loading of video. However, once home I was able to add to several bits of additional footage.