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Pagan Nativities and Grimacing Menhirs, a rainy yet productive day in Carnac

A few Saturdays ago saw my first proper visit of the year to Carnac. I'd already passed through a few times since my return to France after the New Year, but this has mainly been on route to the council tip to dump another load of old matresses and cushions (don't ask).
The main purpose of my trip was to try out my new camera, sadly analogue due to lack of access to a computer out here, but I did find a few interesting new things during the course of the day.
As I left Nantes at 9am (my rather pityful attempt at an early start) the rain commenced and inspite of a good weather forecast it was still raining when I reached Carnac. I parked up for a few minutes in the Manio carpark and and decided that the best bet was to go and get a cup of tea and see what happened.
Well, the first thing that I noticed was that the posters outside the newsagents were proclaiming 'Carnac: Un nouveau projet'. Intrigued I bought a copy of Ouest-France and read the exiting news (detailed in the news section of this website). Most pleasing was the news that the, much reviled and protested against, fences which currently surround the alignements are to be removed and replaced with 'low hedges'.
Suitably jubilated I then took the opertunity to visit the interior of the church of St. Cornély. Now, St. Cornély is the parish saint of Carnac and the patron saint of horned beasts. He is one of the crucial figures in my researches into the bull cult at Carnac that may have persisted from prehistoric times to the present day.
Inside the church I found the nativity scene was still in place, including the baby Jesus being born in a hut between two giant paper-mache menhirs! This hut was at the end of a stone avenue which lead to the church of St. Cornély itself and in the background was a model of the Tumulus St. Michel! All this pagan imagery still hanging on in this (Celtic) Catholic church was a sight to see in 2003.
If freizes (is that how you spell it?) on walls are your thing then the whole interior is covered in paintings in the Breton fashion refered to, rather patronisingly, as the 'niave' style. Mighty entertaining.
The rest of the day was spent visiting various well known sites and playing with camera and tripod and discovering how far one can run when ones camera has a ten second camera. The sun finally came out late afternoon, just as I was about to run out of film, but I think I got some good pictures of some fantastic grimacing anthropomorphic stones in the Kerlescan Alignements, small wonder legend has it the rows are a Roman legion turned to stone...I also got some shots of a Breton Jesus on Kercado hill, this one was the wierdest I'd found yet, looking like a Jellybaby, with no beard, what appeared to be a flat-top spikey haircut and sporting a wry half smile yo have to wonder just how respectful the sculpter was being.
Next stop; the dolmens and menhirs of La Baule, St.Nazaire and Pornic.........

Spaceship mark Posted by Spaceship mark
17th February 2003ce

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