We arrived at Moissac during a freak heat wave! We must have looked totally lost while trying to decipher our directions to the Priory because 5 minutes after deboarding the train and heading down into the village a nice man with a very evident Irish brogue (in France?) ran across the street to ask if we were 'seeking the nuns?'. We answered 'Yes!' and he directed us up the hill and around the bend.
There we found The Priory which we recognized by the nuns in their cream colored habits talking to some people in front
The very nice Sister invited us inside where we were met by a married couple of hospitalieros whose names we could not pronounce. Once inside we were directed to leave our shoes and bags on the terrace and we were taken to the kitchen for cold lemon water and a local crispy sweet. After stamping our credential we were shown our very clean and comfortable room where we chose a set of bunks near a window overlooking a beautiful garden.
Soon we were joined by 3 french women and one husband. After showering and washing clothes we were invited to a communal dinner of soup, salad and bread. Soup was interrupted by the bells announcing Compline. We left our soup to join the nuns in a small chapel Their voices were absolutely ethereal but we squirmed as our growling stomachs sang along! After prayers we returned to dinner and the youngest nun joined us for attempted conversation.
When she heard we were from the USA
she exclaimed how much she loved the movie Sister Act,
at which point I pulled out my iPhone
and played my Hail Holy Queen ringtone.
We had a good laugh!
We had another good laugh that evening.
I had bought some cheese earlier in Toulouse
but when I dug it out of my Mochila to offer to share it
I took one whiff and tossed it in the garbage.
Later that night the French husband was looking for a lost digital card in the trash
and they all were shocked to find half a round of cheese in the basura.
They cracked up when I held my nose and told them it STUNK!
They said the stinker the better! Whew! That was mighty good cheese.
They tried to give it back but I declined.
This morning we spent hours exploring the Abbiatile de Saint Pierre
and the cloisters.
Here are some photos of that field trip:
|Laying Jesus to rest|
|I always love these solar symbols|
|Interesting to find Our Lady of Fatima here.|
|Journey to Bethlehem|
|I love this Lion! This is the bottom of a choir seat.|
|These are some BIG TALL doors!|
|Shells ... shells everywhere...|
|These beautiful flowers were just a taste of what was to come on the Camino.|
|Enjoying some REAL french fries!|
Despite a snoring roommate,
we had a restful night.
Tomorrow we take the train to Lourdes to begin walking.
This afternoon we took the train to Lourdes and had an adventure that nearly turned into a misadventure with a couple of shady characters. We arrived in Lourdes as the candlelight procession was beginning. We will see it tomorrow might. Tonight we rest. Tomorrow we tour Lourdes It is spectacular so far and as someone else told me, the only place where there are more hotels than tourists. My first impression was a strange combination of cheesy tourist shops overpowered by a strong positive and even holiness in the air. I think I like it here! More tomorrow. Will edit when I can find a computer!