West End, Tournai Cathedral

Time to leave La Roche today. The weather was still fine but not as warm as it had been.

The coach seemed quite chatty, unlike on the outward journey, I didn't feel the urge to doze. We stopped at Tournai on the Belgian/French border at 12 pm. Edward, the tour director, had wanted to see what Tournai was like. He'd never been there before. We were also dropping off two members of the party.

Ostensibly, the sights to see were the cathedral and the belfry, both of which have medieval, or older, origins, and are UNesco World Heritage Sites. Except the cathedral was closed between 12-2pm, just while we were there. A great shame inasmuch as the cathedral is said to house the clothes of Thomas a Becket which he was wearing on his way back to England from Europe to take up his role as Archbishop of Canterbury.

An art and craft market had set up on one side of the cathedral. Bars and restaurants were open everywhere. The populace was sitting in the sunshine enjoying beer, ice cream and lunch. Some rather interesting characters too. A marching band appeared with a 20 ft tall mannequin.

I had around ten minutes to enjoy a chilled glass of white wine, before we had to return to the coach. I did see, and point out to others, the sculpted scallop shells in the pavements that mark the route taken by pilgrims from the north to the shrine of St James of Compestela in Santiago. Not sure how much others were interested.

I remember Tournai mostly for the litter. The inhabitants didn't seem too bothered about the cleanliness of the city. As you can see, I did manage to get a photo of the west end of the cathedral, which is undergoing considerably restoration.

When we got back to Leicester, Len and I had to drive via George's house for him to collect our car, since the exhaust had fallen off his. He did drive us back home though.

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