Travelogue, Northern France. History, Norman Conquest, Britains relationship with Medieval Normandy.

York Minster

It was a sight quite enough to feed the spiritually deprived heart of a heathen such as myself to bursting point. There is no doubting the awe inspiring effect of religious buildings, it is after all the point of them with all those arches, towers and vaulted ceilings pointing in the general direction of redemption. You would have to be a very cold fish not to experience a brief shimmer of religious fervour when you stumble across one, even if you are a heathen.

Saint- Pierre- Sur- Dive was also the place I first saw the kind of building that looked like it had been plucked from a once fashionable Parisian suburban street. Illogically thin, the shabby chic detached house was four storeys tall, with attic rooms and elegant, shuttered windows fronted by ornate ironwork with the Benedictine Abbey looming behind and the bland modern Lidl just round the corner. I could never pass it without humming songs from ‘Gigi’.