An intersection of roads in Southern France is marked by a cross sitting atop a stone pillar, attesting to the religiosity of pathways in this region. Motoring along local, often single lane roads, it is not uncommon to approach a diversion and there is a cross. The legend on regional Michelin maps for France calls it a “wayside” cross, and there it is on the map, just as you had seen it upon your travels.
A centre ville is often marked with a cross. The village of Bassoues, in the Gascogne region of southwest France, has one such singular intersection. Tucked into this impromptu crossroad is the Bastide de Bassoues, the L'Église de la Nativité. With it’s medieval tower, the bastide offers a respite amongst the rolling hills in the sound poem Bastide de Bassoues : http://redroom.com/member/jane-p-perry/media/audio/bastide-de-bassoues .
Some crosses do not make the Michelin maps. Alongside my friend’s farm in Durban, west of Toulouse and south of Auch, is a footpath that intersects his road and heads out onto a ridge. It is marked by a cross. It was knocked down and my friend meticulously picked through the grass and soil to retrieve the 100 odd pieces of wrought iron and then hired a blacksmith to return the cross to its original lace design.
More congested travel on roads that connect regions may not have cross markings, but still pass through tiny villages. The D929 is one such interregional road running south from Auch. Sitting in the one café of Seissan, village life is accompanied by to and fro commerce in the sound poem The Road to Spain : http://redroom.com/member/jane-p-perry/media/audio/the-road-to-spain .
Traveling the roads of the Midi-Pyrénées région is an experience rich in aural flavors both urban and agrarian, with Toulouse a vivid counterpart in energy to its rural surroundings. The previously posted blog Audio Refreshment is a reminder of the zest of Toulouse living : http://redroom.com/member/jane-p-perry/blog/audio-refreshment . The sound poem Crossing Southern France captures a collage of life in the Midi-Pyrénées with chickens, GPS, Toulouse streets, Larressingle bells, and midnight cows and a dog : http://redroom.com/member/jane-p-perry/media/audio/crossing-southern-france-0 .