Another one of those magical places that doesn’t make it into the guide books…
This is an alley somewhere in Figeac, France, on a cloudy morning about 12 days into the Chemin du Puy (the Camino from Le Puy to St Jean Pied-de-Port).
Every time I look at this picture I find some new detail I hadn’t seen before. The books told me that Figeac has continuously existed as a way-stop for pilgrims since the 11th century, but that’s just a number on a page until I started to study the patchwork of construction techniques here in a corner that no one’s supposed to notice.
History here in southern France isn’t relegated to museums and tourist traps. It’s tucked into every alley, and provides the foundation for the entire way of life. For an American in a city that’s less than 150 years old, this long view of civilization and society was a somewhat mind-blowing part of my pilgrimage.
Plus, you know, there’s a chat.