Visiting Rennes-le-Chateau (again :))

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Spikey
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Re: Visiting Rennes-le-Chateau (again :))

Post by Spikey » Thu Jun 29, 2017 5:30 pm

Couiza-Montazels Station

Such a deliciously derelict building.

Front of the building;

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Surroundings, no puking fifi here;

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What way did they go?

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Backside;

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Direction plate is relatively new. Even boasts directions in both French and the original language of the region: Occitan. Occitan is no mere dialect, but a macrolanguage related to Catalan. There is no Naples route! Only 2 trains a day, or so. End point on one side is Quillan, even though the unused rails and tunnel continue between Quillan and Axat. On the other end of the line is Carcassonne.

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MARCIE? GIRL U IN THERE???

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Re: Visiting Rennes-le-Chateau (again :))

Post by BBP » Sat Jul 01, 2017 9:08 am

Very nice Spikey!
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Re: Visiting Rennes-le-Chateau (again :))

Post by Spikey » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:00 pm

Thnx Bonny!

I've actually got some more exciting news; today I most definitely chanced upon a walking route Jane must have taken during her few days of field study here for Gabriel Knight 3. From the foreword of the Prima guide, we know she at least explored Rennes-le-Chateau itself, but probably also Rennes-les-Bains and possibly the Devil's Armchair.

Now, today temperatures out here in the Pyrenees suddenly started hitting 40 degrees celcius again, so I couldn't do any taxing hikes. Browsing my numerous of guides, my eyes fell upon a lightweight 5 hour hike named "Sentier des Terres Rouges", starting in Serres. It is described in the TopoGuides "Haute Vallée de l'Aude à Pied", as well as at the starting point in Serres village. To my delight, this track features a VERY significant amount of the locations in the game, that are otherwise non-prominent for tourists, and actually also the most accurately detailed ones in the valley aside from Rennes-le-Chateau in the game; Serres and former Poussin's Tomb.

The hike takes you directly to;

- Crossing point with a route to Pech Cardou. Early on during the route, you come across a signposted route to Pech Cardou! I've been doing it all wrong, I usually climb it from Rennes-les-Bains, which is a much gentler side to climb it. The track to the top is actually not that hard, but it is weirdly absent from my Backcountry app and also from the TopoGuide. It does feature on the regional map and on the route described in the village.
- Location of the former "Poussin" Tomb at Les Pontils. Drove by many times, even photographed it from the window driving by on occasion, but you can't park or stop nearby AT ALL. The road is quite dangerous here to linger, curved, and cars drive fast. Even still, the route takes DIRECTLY in front of it. There is almost no other way to see this location but on this hike.
- Orange land. The second half of the hike takes place not in woodland, but mostly out in the open, on extremly orange territory. Remember orange rock? "Terres rouges" of course means "Red earth".
- Vineyards. The hike eventually takes you from Peyrolles to Cassaignes, which is the most boring part of the hike, the only thing here are very large vineyards (also at the back of Serres). Pays d'Oc is of course the largest wine area in the whole wide world with 10,000 hectares, but vineyards are actually quite rare around Rennes-le-Chateau. The lands nearby around Limoux are preferred, because that has a specific AOC.
- Dramatic backdrop of Cardou, Chateau de Blanchefort and Roque Nègre, mixed with the Bugarach mountain (the latter is not a location in the game, but it does feature prominently in some of the backdrops of GK3). They all sound like interesting locations to visit, but in reality there is much better stuff to do; they are mostly interesting to us because of the game.
- Chateau de Serres. The route in the TopoGuides and described in the village itself are the only places I've ever seen this thing mentioned by name; and it only describes how it is ancient, and that it passed into the hands of the Joyeuse family in the 16th century, and was restored at that point.

Oh, and the route starts and ends near the church of Serres, a Templar building as I mentioned before. In front of it is a large weirdass bronze crucifix that depicts plants sprouting from its base. This rare image of course features heavily in Gabriel Knight 3,

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Re: Visiting Rennes-le-Chateau (again :))

Post by Spikey » Wed Jul 05, 2017 1:50 pm

^ to this I forgot to add;

- The Paris Meridian features heavily in the first half of the track, intersecting with the winding path a zillion times, with marks on trees to show for it.

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Re: Visiting Rennes-le-Chateau (again :))

Post by Spikey » Tue Oct 02, 2018 2:10 pm

Swung by the l'Haute Vallée again, discovered a bunch of new stuff.
In Rennes-le-Chateau;
- Arriving in town, I noticed there was advertised a free group "meditation" on Mary of Magdalen, accompanied by live piano music... in the Chateau d'Hautpoule - the building which is the original inspiration for the hotel in the game! Yassss! It was in an ancient souterain dubbed the "Visigothic hall". Since the Chateau is in private hands, this felt like an extraordinary experience. The piano music was lovely. Will post pics when I get round to sorting out my holiday pics!
- In the bookshop I found a book that contained the coptic texts of the so-called "Gospel of Mary Magdalen", with English translation and interpretation. Reading this, I realised that Jane must have read this one too; it has a sentence prominently twice in the first few verses; "Those who have ears, let them hear!"
This is of course very close to what Abbé Arnaud says in the game to Gabe at some point. Can't be a coincidence, since Arnaud speaks so loveingly of the Magdalen cult.
- Unfortunately Asmodeus is still headless, but I bought a small statue of him in a shop nearby (already have a replica of the Magdalen statue). The bass relief of the altar is completely restored.

Rennes-les-Bains;
Stayed for the night closeby, but had not as much time as I liked - I intended to go to Blanchefort the next day. I got up early and bathed shortly in the thermal waters of Rennes-les-Bains down by the river Sals, and started out on a short hike to the Devil's Armchair - I had the place to myself for once. I also studied the IGN map closely, and glanced over the areas marked as Coume Sourdes and l'Homme Mort. I tried to pinpoint these before, but never had a GPS app to accurately do so before, so I fired up Backcountry Navigator and searched out the exact locations. It was as I had found it way back, only the pine tree forest was now big and thick. I tried a few semi-paths into it, but it was no use. The locations marked on that map remain a mystery. Then my eyes caught a signpost "Coume Sourde". Okay. So I fired up Google, and looked up what it was supposed to be. Google Maps identified an area nearby, but definitely not the same place as the IGN map and the game make it. This path took me right to that place on Google Maps, but it seemed nothing more than an old farm near a white and rocky outcropping marked is "le Pique" near the hamlet of La Valdieu. I emerged from the woods on a path, but there were construction works going right next to the sign on the farm that said "Coume Sourde". The construction folks greeted me as an innocent hiker, so I didn't feel like talking or snooping around - it seemed like a random place. Circling round back towards the chair, I did find the actual "l'Ermitage" that is on the map for the first time. A small sign told me this was the right location. It is mostly a bunch of old plateaus with remnants of ancient fortification, with ochard trees on it - with clear sign saying "Private property. No trespassing" which actually means to say "Get off my lawn, you crazy piece of sh*t. I don't like you, go away." So no snooping there either. Very different from another place closeby, confusingly also signposted as "Ermitage" but not on the IGN map (<= this is down by the river banks - I always mistook that place to be the real Ermitage).

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Re: Visiting Rennes-le-Chateau (again :))

Post by BBP » Wed Oct 03, 2018 5:25 pm

Sorry to hear Asmodeus is still headless... Can't wait for your photos!
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