Happy New Year, everyone! Happy 2015!
This is a picture from Béziers, one of the oldest town in France and member of the most ancient European town network.
We were standing in front of Cathédrale Saint–Nazaire and Quentin started telling me these stories about the Béziers Massacre that happened on the same day and month as my birthday, 22 July, more than 800 years ago.
There was a movement against the Catholic Church at that gloomy time called Catharism, and Béziers was one of the places dominated by its followers. The tension between the two parties led to a disagreement in 1209 and hordes of crusaders swarmed into the town, into the churches and every nook and cranny to butcher every single villager in cold blood. When asked how to distinguish the Catholics from Cathars, commander Amaury gave tongue to the atrocious order, “Kill them all, God will recognise his own”. And consequently, no one was spared.
Cathedral Saint-Nazaire was destroyed and rebuilt a century later on the same ground. It stood tall and dignified at the high part of Béziers, and at its front lies the most untouched and picturesque of pastoral view I’ve ever seen.
Easily, one of the best windows in the world.
We followed the street winding down from the Cathedral and walked towards Le Pont Vieux over the river Orb.
I didn’t realise how much fresh, scenic air I’d be inhaling until halfway across the bridge, I turned my head and another grand spectacular view unfolded.
If it wasn’t for personal commitment, I wouldn’t have a chance to see such a quaint little town, so beaten off the track and free from the clutches of tourist infrastructure. If you are a seasoned traveller who has seen the world or have a penchant for places less-visited, you should give Béziers a pin on your map.
Lastly, I don’t know what a new year means to you – a new semester or a year older, the beginning of your student loan payment or a step higher on your corporate ladder, more responsibilities or alternatively, less burden?
To me, a new year is what it is, and that is the continuation of the previous year because I will be continuing doing what I do and the one resolution inked year after year in my journal remains relevant: Get Better.
Have a gracious and fulfilling year 🙂
With love x