Well Oradour sur Glane was strange. No cameras allowed, so no photos. In a way it was better that way as it made me concentrate on what was around me instead of thinking about camera settings. It is quite an experience to walk around a town where there is no one. All the houses and business’s are closed the walls are falling down, there are burn marks on the bricks and not one property had it’s roof. Completely devastated.
On entering the town there is a sign:
and throughout the town there are signs demanding silence. It is the place itself which creates the silence, one doesn’t feel like talking, even in the presence of other visitors, your thoughts are your own. It is purely your imagination that takes you back to that terrible time and you try desperately hard to grasp just how dreadful it must have been for the towns people. They must have suffered such fear and terror.
Each house has the name and profession of the inhabitant which makes it all the more poignant. There are plaques around the town pointing out how many men were killed and then burned on that spot. Entering the church is particularly difficult, this is where all the women and children were herded, killed in the most inhumane way and then burned. What I found incredibly moving was the burnt font in the corner, and I pondered that the children that died there that day, would have been christened in that very building.
We didn’t’ stay long, it wasn’t necessary, but it was an incredibly thought provoking experience and I’m glad I saw it.
As we left, we were quiet, we needed something to occupy us.
Driving Harry seemed like a good idea! I got up behind the wheel and the Hubster arranged the mirrors for me! I did well, I tackled a couple of roundabouts, a dual carriageway, a country road, a village and a larger town. OK I didn’t break any speed limits but I think I did cause a couple of French Sunday drivers to call me unmentionable names! I was feeling shattered when I handed our steed back over to the Hubster!! My hands were sweating and my legs were a little shaky… but that won’t stop me, I’m determined to get the hang of this!
We drove to a lovely little village called St Jean de Cole and had a walk around to stretch our legs and to recover from the morning’s emotions.
We are now in a lovely campsite just outside Brantome, which we intend to visit tomorrow. We had a choice of whichever pitch we wanted, so we took one just overlooking the river and it’s simply gorgeous. I must say it’s good to be in a campsite, we have our chairs and table set up outside, Charlie has lots of space and is lying out on the grass. We, in the meantime have taken advantage of all the facilities, hair wash (well overdue) showers, I’ve cut the Hubster’s hair and done various other bodily treatments!! I’ve just realised there’s a swimming pool so maybe tomorrow if it’s as hot as today, I’ll go for a dip, who knows? tomorrow’s another day.
Feeling good, feeling proud and feeling clean