Cluny is famous for its abbey. Little known fact is that the town was founded by William I , Duke of Aquitaine in 910. The abbey itself is a former Benedictine monastery dedicated to St Peter. Three individual churches were constructed between the 4th and 12th century’s in Romanesque style. The earliest basilica was the worlds largest church until the basilica in the Vatican City (St Peter) was built.the abbey was famous for its strict adherence to the Rule of St Benedict making Cluny world famous as the leader of western monasticism. It was almost totally destroyed during the French Revolution in 1790 and was used as a quarry in the mid 1800’’s . Excavations began in 1927 under the quidance of a famous American archaeologist and continued into the 1950’s. Money was poured into totally rebuilding the abbey and since 1901 it has played host to one of Frances elite schools of engineering.
The grounds of the abbey and the abbey itself are a sight to behold set as it is at the epicentre of the town.
You get the gist . Hopefully. Suffice to say if you are ever within shouting distance of Cluny I implore you to visit the town. It’s simply quite stunning. I took about 700 photos so that gives you an idea of the impression it left .
So. This morning it was back onto the Voie Verte and in case there was any wondering why they called it the “Green Way” ....
For 50 km from Cluny to Chalon-sur-Saône it was unadulterated riding bliss along the disused train track passing through forests then vineyards and across wide agricultural fields. Cycling nirvana.
Came across these fella’s sitting in a small buggy contraption that transported them up and down the row of low lying vines. Seems like a good way to avoid bending and all the associated back pain that comes with it.
A lot of the old train stations are now private homes. This one looked “sweet” (sic).
I stopped at this station to refill my water bottles .
For some strange reason when I stopped at a track side cafe for my customary “25 km done for the day “ coffee this lass tried to clip my fingernails. For that reason alone she gets a photo credit.
Lunch in the shadow of the impressive Chalon-sur-Saône church was a humbling experience .
Someone clearly hasn’t got the email that it was going to rain soon. (If confused read up on the supposed rule of life about why cows lie down)
After enjoying the Voie Verte for 50 km in the morning I battled a howling headwind on the Voie Bleue this afternoon across wide open agricultural fields which offered no protection coupled with somewhat confusing signage.
As previously stated. Wide open agricultural fields offering zero protection against a howling headwind. Whatever the wind gods gave me on the 2 day ride into Lyon down the Rhône they have most certainly reclaimed with a vengeance over the last two days.
After pedalling for two hours on what seemed like a treadmill (ie: plenty of energy output for seemingly no forward achievement) this little chapel seemed an appropriate place to draw breath and dig into my chocolate stack for a sugar hit.
With a solitary poppy for company set against a field of Daisy’s this isn’t the worst final resting place I’ve come across.