By the time we had visited Bourgueil market most of the vendors were packing up as it was well over twelve. We decide to leave quickly before the exodus of lorries and trailers began. Also, I had booked a table for lunch at our favourite troglodyte restaurant: L’Hélianthe in Turquant. Instead of driving to Turquant straight away though, we took the scenic route which I have come accustomed to over the years.
One the reasons why I like this route is that it is going through Candes-Saint-Martin, my favourite spot in the Loire Valley. In the past I’ve posted many photos of the magnificent view from the bridge over the Vienne River, featuring the picturesque village and the confluent of the Loire River and the Vienne …
Ever since my first visit in 1999 I’ve made it a habit of shooting a photo of the view from the bridge. I have it under a clear blue sky, a milky sky, a cloud-spotted sky, a menacing stormy sky, with raindrops on the lens somewhat obscuring the view, with or without traditional flat-bottomed boats floating on the water … You name it. I’ve got it! No wait, I don’t have it with snow covering the dark slates of the village church. Maybe I should consider visiting the Loire in winter?! Now there’s a thought …
When approaching the bridge, I kindly asked J.L. to pull into the narrow parking space, which is conveniently located along the road leading up the bridge. I jumped out of the car … forgetting about the sore legs that were a result of Monday’s running up and down the steps serving our guests at the B-BBQ. “I won’t be long”, I said to my friends “Just the time it takes to shoot a photo to complete my collection. I like having a photo of this spot in different situations.”
Well, the 2013 view couldn’t have been more different from the older photos … The tower of the church was hidden from sight by scaffolding. In previous years I remember restoration work in progress on the façade, only noticeable when you actually stood in front of it. Now however, my idyllic view was completed spoiled.
Candes-Saint-Martin, June 2013.
The tower looks fuzzy. But what you actually see is the scaffolding.
“Well, you wanted something completely different. There you have it!” I heard J.L. saying. He and B. had joined on the bridge me to eternalize the view too. But when he saw the scaffolding, he put his camera back in its carrying bag.
June 2013: La Collégiale Saint-Martin interior,
with Saint-Martin's chapel at the end of the aisle.
I did made some photos before returning to the car to drive into the village. We paid a short visit to the church where I lit candle in Saint-Martin’s chapel.
A candle for Saint-Martin.
If you want to see some great photos of the interior, please visit Jim and Pauline’s blog – Loire Valley Experiences. On Sundays they do a great series called ‘Church on Sunday’, featuring typical Loire Valley churches, focusing i.e. on the statue of Jeanne d’Arc, which is a ‘must’ in every self-respecting French church. To be honest I didn’t see Joan’s statue at Candes-Saint-Martin, but I’ll sure look out for her the next time I visit.