Bastille Day on the Peaks

Drove slowly with Miles in the little rented SEAT from the Algarve to the Pyrenees, via Lisbon (more on that gorgeous discovery in a few days) where we are now staying (vacationing? /working?) in the little village of Bourg d’Oueil — unhappily e-marooned with a slow-poke stuttering ole’ modem connection, so that I can only safely post when in the “big city” of Luchon where I have access to an ethernet connection.

Got here the day before my birthday & fêted the latter on French territory, which I enjoy tremendously, given that the Frenchies have a way of throwing great parties on that day, as it also happens to be Bastille day. This year we drove up a narrow, newly macadamed mountain road to a high peak where a showy spectacle took place at nightfall: the burning of three pairs of tree trunks, savyly hollowed and fitted with straw for better burning, and placed on three neighboring peaks. That original pagan feast was first displaced by the Xtians from its normal summer solstice date of roughly 21 Juneto the Xtian feast of St. John on 29 June, and is now celebrated in what I’d like to call the post-Xtian era on Bastille day, i.e. 14 July. A moveable Feast, indeed. Once the burning trees collapsed, a modern-trad feu d’artifesses, sorry, d’artifice, i.e. fireworks closed off the occasion. We slowly drove down the mountain & had a little armagnac before retiring. Here’s a tiny movie of the event, more specifically of the collapse of the first of the burning tree:

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