Sunday 24 May 2015

Pique-nique chez le Vigneron: 23rd-25th May Part Two...

Following on from yesterday's post...

After we'd eaten and drunk our fill we were offered the option of walking to see an underground quarry where sarcophagi  were produced during the sixth, seventh and eighth centuries.

The trapezoid shapes of the sarcophagi were easily distinguishable, cut alternately head-to-toe to get the optimum number from the rock..

These underground quarries were the largest production centre of sarcophagi in the Touraine in the early middle ages and production is estimated at around 10,000 units.

A study of them has been undertaken, as part of a Doctorate in Archaeology by Daniel Morleghem of the Universite Francois Rabelais, Tours.

Interestingly for us, two years ago Daniel came to Braye to survey the cemetery where several sarcophagi had been discovered.

Back out into the daylight, the next treat in store was a walk down to the lower meadow to see the wealth of wild flowers growing there, including several species of orchid..

These are (with Susan's help for ID) Lady Orchid (photos 1,2 & 3)

Pyramidal Orchids

Monkey Orchid

We had the most wonderful day at La Domaine de la  Marinre, with great company, good food, excellent wine and with history and botany thrown in for good measure!

Thank you to Renaud Desbourdes and family for your hospitality, and as Renaud said:
"There is only one thing certain at La Marinre: the time to arrive!"

Everything else certainly comes as a surprise!


GaynorB said...

A beautifully illustrated account of a wonderful day. What a coincidence that Daniel had also been involved in the survey at Braye. The next one we sign up for will have quite something to live up to!

Colin and Elizabeth said...

It was certainly a day to remember, Gaynor, and we are just so glad you read Jim's blog about the forthcoming event! It's in the diary for next year!!

Tim said...

What a wonderful sounding day!
Love the sarki-quarry... there are some gracing the Place Savoie-Villars in GP...
as planters!!

PS: Picture 2 should be at the end & the last picture should be where No 2 is.

Craig said...

That looks likes a super day out, I would have loved it. Very jealous!