Monday, July 18, 2011

Un Petit Goût de Bourgogne

A small taste of Burgundy.  Sip it slowly and enjoy all the flavors it gives off.

Here's Brad, contemplating math or a wine lover’s paradise, along the wine road of Vosne Romanée.

You met this young fellow, the watchdog of Concouer-et-Corboin, here.  It’s possible to spend all day in France taking photos of dogs and nothing else.

I haven’t quite figured out who this fellow is.  Doesn’t exactly look like Sarkozy, but his likeness is stenciled all over Dijon.  Clearly someone is trying to say something.

My wish before my stay is over is to get a decent picture of this fellow.  He usually appears around early dinnertime.  We had just tucked into our first course at a restaurant on rue Berbisey when he came along.  I had put my camera away just moments before, so it was a real scramble even to catch this shot.

We had just minutes before arrived in the city of Auxerre and were taking photos of the boats lining the riverbank when I spied this monk out for a morning stroll.  France is always a juxtaposition of the old and the new.

In Auxerre we heard music coming from Cathedral Saint-Etienne so I led the charge to participate in the Sunday service.  We happened to arrive just as an adult baptism began.  The congregation’s musical chants, however, were to the enthusiastic beat of sub-Saharan African drums.  At the offertory, the young woman recently baptized (in white, on right) carried the host, led by other young people dancing down the aisle to a drum chorus, baskets of fruit offerings on their heads and white handkerchiefs waving in one hand.

While I was snapping photos quietly from my place in the back, an old French woman sidled up to me and said something quickly but firmly in French.  I couldn’t interpret it easily, what with the drums going and the random AMENS being shouted, but I’m sure she was telling me not to take pictures in church.  After she left I went back to shooting.  In my church at home people are always pulling out cameras – for the church website, because a child is acolyting for the first time, because because just because.  They never interrupt the service.  Our Lady’s Guild members have practically a full time job archiving the photos from the life of our church.

So before slipping out during the last part of the service I found the donation box every church in Europe has, large and small, and dropped in 2€ as a penance, grabbed one of their brochures on the history of the church, and slipped out.  So here is the “offending” shot of a 4th century European church celebrating the global communion of our 21st century.

What other scenes of France would you like to see?  What would you like to know about France from my American perspective?  I’ll take any and all requests here although I can’t promise I’ll be able to fulfill them.  What would you like to read about while I’m here?


Muriel said...

Hi Julie! I am not aware of a French etiquette that would say "don't take any pictures of churches!"
Probably just a grumpy old lady!

Julie Farrar said...

Hi Muriel. I don't think this attitude is a particularly French thing. I think it's traditional church vs. modern church. For example, in the States at some churches you'll never see anything but Sunday best dresses and big hats. At my church jeans largely dominate and I'm not surprised to see flip-flops sticking out from under robes up at the altar. Some people might think taking pictures during a service is sacrilegious, but if it's unobtrusive it wouldn't bother me. It gives me a memory of a special moment. The spirituality wasn't lost on me. I felt blessed to witness the celebration.

What do other people think? By the standards of your church services was I out of line?

Eryl said...

Hello, love the church shot, it's really colourful and bright. I don't have a church so can't help you with your question.

I do understand your desire for change, though; having turned fifty this year the need to do something with my life before it's too late is in the ascendency! And I, also, take thousands of photos, but am not quite sure why.

Anonymous said...

Another feast for the eyes! @ Brad- I'd know that stride anywhere.


Carol Apple said...

Great pictures. I especially like the one of the dog. I am no expert on France but I have lately been very attracted to French literature and want to learn the language better so I can read it in the original. Just finally finished The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Take pics of the cathedral if you are ever in that area!

Annie Boreson said...

What? No pictures of churches? That seems really bizarre to me. Someone obviously woke up on a the hard side of the pew! Keep snapping. These are great!

Anonymous said...

Hi Julie,
I can see your pics just fine using Explorer 8

Anonymous said...

Hi Julie,

Just returned from a six-week stay in Burgundy, and I am enjoying reading about your experiences very much. I am now retired and living in North Carolina but French is my mother tongue and I need my immersion in the French culture on a regular basis. Your photos are wonderful.


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