Sept. 8; On our Own

We had an early train reservation from Geneva to Lyon, France for the multi-part trip to the little town of Sainte Enimie, France. Our hosts were gracious to get up early and drive us to the train station, then wait with us until our train arrived, 2 hours late due to a rail workers strike in France (which is still going on as I write this on Oct. 12).

Waiting for the train, all ready to backpack in France!

After 2 stops for train connections we arrived in Le Puy in south-central France ready to take the bus to Mende, France where we would find a taxi to take us the last 2o or so km to Ste. Enimie, but we were too late for the last bus. We were ready for adventure! Through limited French on my part and lots of laughing about our predicament with the very accomodating non-english speaking clerk, he was able to procure for us a taxi to take us all the way to Mende, at the cost of the train system! We convinced our young lady, non-english speaking, taxi driver to continue to Ste. Enimie, up the narrow mountain roads, and down the steep, winding country lanes. She indicated she had never been to this area before and I think she enjoyed the trip as well. We were able to find the Bed & Breakfast and were dropped off right in front!

Our B&B at the top of the village of Ste. Enimie.

The view from our window towards the monastery turned college, circa AD 536!

Our walk down into town gave us this view of the Fontaine de Burle, or source of the Burle, a small stream that flows into the Tarn river.

The Hermitage on the hill above the source of the Burle.

The story of the founding of the village and its namesake, the chaste Merovingian Princess Enimie, details her prayers to be striken with a disease to discourage her many suitors. She was accommodated with leprosy and traveled to this area to test the tales of the miraculous healing powers of the waters of the Burle. She was cured, but only when she stayed in the area. She spent the rest of her days in prayer in a small cave, later the Hermitage, and founded the (originally co-ed) monastery that the town grew up around.

The narrow stone streets flanked by stone buildings dating from the Middle Ages.

Colorful flowers decorated many buildings and the dried flowers on the doors are atraditional superstition to protect the inhabitants from harm.

An old car.

Small details.

The bridge over the Tarn river in the evening.

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