Monday, April 24, 2006

church lady

I had a much more eventful weekend than normal. Every night, I fell asleep exhausted. I also developed a small rash on my left wrist, but I won't go into any more detail about that....except to say, going to the pharmacy here is a very different experience. Over-the-counter drugs, like Tylenol, Neosporin, even contact solution, can only be bought at the pharmacy. It's typical, also, for people to go in the case of minor ailments to consult with the pharmicist, who then tells you which medications you need to take. Tomorrow, I'll probably go see one, since my rash hasb't cleared up with allergy medicine. In Spain, a girl told me that the pharmacists there actually sell low-level antibiotics, as well.
Sorry that I keep talking about my rash. It's really very small - I just thought it was some bug bites before, but then it got a little bigger. Okay, I'll stop. Now.

On saturday morning, I met up with Bernard and Pauline at the big church in Poligny. The minister is doing tours during the Easter holidays (easter holidays = spring break to us godless americans). We got to see everything, from the beams above the main room:

The bells in the tower:

The old clock...unfortunately, no longer in use:

On the wall behind the clock, people had written the date every time the clock was adjusted. Most of them were back in the 1930s and 40s.

We ended up on the balcony around the clock tower. The minister was extremely knowledgeable about the church - telling us all about the dates on construction (15th c. (!!)), construction materials, the origins and weights of the bells, how the structure has changed, everything! When we got on the bell tower, we found out that he knows just as much about the rest of Poligny. He pointed out where all of the original structures are, where all of the abbeys stand (some are converted, but a few still house nuns), the location of the old chateau and the original town wall. He also cleared up something I had been wondering: there are very few remains of the original chateau (the small castle which lorded over the original walled village), due to the fact that the townspeople reused most of the stones to build more houses in the 18th century.

There's more to show you from the weekend, but I'll break it up a bit. I know some of you look at this from work (shame!), so I try to keep the number of photographs low enough so you can sneak a peek while noone's looking over your shoulder.


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