Travels

Yea, behold the great works of man!

Posted

Thursday 13 June 2019.

Those receiving my blog by email will have noticed I’m a day out. The evening at Mont-Saint-Michel was taken up with real-world humdrum necessities we all have to to keep on top of, hence two blogs this evening to catch up. So much happens each day I struggle to remember what I did just a few days ago. If I don’t keep up with it I will forget.

L’Univers du poète ferrailleur, or the universe of the wrestling poet, caught my eye, I can’t remember how. Partial to a bit of whimsy, and despite the website showing it was closed, I thought I’d swing by as it was close to my route. I’m glad I did, I got in to have a look around.

The work of artist Robert Coudray, L’Univers sits in the middle of the countryside near Lizio. It’s his home, workshop and exhibition space.

Outside, around a pond with a real frog chorus, stand buildings. Think, if Dr Seuss was an architect.

In other buildings are his mechanicals, each accompanied by a poem,

some large,

some illustrative,

all run by cogs, strings, wheels and levers driven by solar power.

There were a couple of school groups visiting, that was why he was open. I could see why they were there. Not only for the fun and creativity,

but there were takeaways about mechanics, physics, conservation, green energy, recycling and working together.

It chimed with the work we used to bring over for international festivals around Manchester – naive and left field in the best sense. An hour well spent.

My next stop was Carnac. I knew it had prehistoric stones and was an important site, but all I’d done in preparation was check the town had an aire. The scale of the site was, therefore, a complete surprise.

In this grab from Google maps, the car park and visitor centre are on the right and the stones run up the field in the middle in about ten rows or alignments.

The stones, or menhirs (men, stone, hir, standing) run east/west with bigger stones in the west.

This is the Ménec alignment, but continuing east there are two more alignments, Kermario and Kerlescan, meaning there are over three thousand stones stretching for four kilometres.

I took the tour bus to see the three alignments, believed to have been one when originally constructed five or six thousand years ago. There are also many megaliths, stone tombs and burial mounds nearby. They form the largest collection in the world. Photos don’t capture the scale of the alignments but it’s worth looking at Google maps and tracing them.

Recent days have shown mankind’s ingenuity in building practically – towns, walls, buildings. Though the scale has been different, today has been about people expressing humanity, with little practical purpose beyond enriching existence and examining our place in the universe.

What a world we live in.

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