Friday, May 15, 2015

Backroad Wanderings: Palmas, Aveyron

Looking up at the Eglise Saint-Vincent de Palmas

Last Sunday we had magnificent weather here, and I was itching to get out and do a little more backroad exploration. Unfortunately -- no, let's say fortunately, it needed to be done -- my husband got me wrapped up in a home improvement project at about 3pm, right before I was planning to leave.

"It won't take long!" 

I've heard that before! 4pm, 5pm, 6pm...I finally hit the road in the early evening which, on what was a hot day, turned out to be most pleasant.

My only plan was to head east, as I know very little of the whole area between Gages, where we live, and the impressive medieval city of Sévérac-le-Château

My first stop, and the object of this post, was the tiny town of Palmas -- just 14 kilometres from my house, yet I had never set foot there.

A precarious and surprisingly accessible climb

I was pressed for time (grumble grumble, yet that home improvement project WAS worth it), and I'm afraid I didn't do the place justice. Naturally, I found myself drawn to the most clearly visible site to see: the stark yet stunning Eglise Saint-Vincent de Palmas.

Were there really no railings up this staircase?

I was intrigued at the apparently permitted possibility of climbling up an exterior staircase to a tiny terrace, and even more surprised to be able to open the iron gate to go into it.

I perched up there for a few minutes, feeling a bit dizzy, and forgot to take any photos looking down.

The narrow door at the top of the stairs

The door at the top of the stairs was only about a foot and a half wide -- I wondered about its purpose, and wondered even more about the advisability of passers-by (read:me) being able to climb up the stairs with no railing. But of course I was thrilled to be able to do so!

A church with a built-in mailbox

Front view of the bell tower

My visit to Palmas started and ended here. As the only person wandering around the village, I was already feeling conspicuous. An elderly woman had started observing me from her window; a dog started barking as I stood in front of its house to take this last shot.

My future backroad companion

I later found out I had missed a lot: the vestiges of a castle, three distinct "quartiers," a 16th century bridge. 

I have an excellent book by Daniel Crozes , a well-known local author, that gives an exhaustive wealth of information about every nook and cranny of Aveyron, but I have been consulting it after my outings only.

On further expeditions, Daniel Crozes will guide me -- at least once I've landed in the place I plan to explore. 


Dorothy Borders said...

Lovely pictures. It's fun to wander to new places and explore them. Sometimes you discover real treasures.

Alana said...

There are plenty of small towns within a 20 or 30 mile radius that I have never explored. Who knows what treasures lie undiscovered? I wouldn't have climbed that staircase though. Thank you for taking me up with you.

Betty Carlson said...

Alana, the staircase didn't go all of the way up -- not even a quarter of the way up! But it still was very high to be open to any and all...

Katie Zeller said...

I need to do more of that..... Good plan for summer.

Betty Carlson said...

Katie -- I imagine you would be amazed at what you find!