The Roma­ne­sque Abbey of Jumiè­ges

We wake up on a clear sun­ny day in the cam­per area of Jumiè­ges, not too far away from the abbey. Whi­le we’­re having break­fa­st a mul­ti­tu­de of baby goa­ts appears from a woo­den hut just beyond the fen­ce and start to roam around the lawn. They’­re too cute not to take some pic­tu­res. A young man comes out of the hut waving at us. At fir­st, we think he wan­ts us to lea­ve, but soon we rea­li­ze he is invi­ting us in. We walk past the fen­ce among the goa­ts,  fir­st sta­ring at us and then giving some con­fi­den­ce play­ing with their paws on our legs.

Baby goa­ts coming out of the barn

The bree­der tells us that he is mil­king in the sta­ble and asks if we want to join him and take some pho­tos. It’s an offer we can not refu­se! He’s real­ly kind and we fol­low him in the small but neat and clean sta­ble, that, by the light look of the wood has been recen­tly built. To greet us the looks of a dozen goa­ts that sta­re at us whi­le chewing straw.

Curious goa­ts watch us at our entry into the barn

Our friend, armed with a buc­ket, approa­ches a goat and, in a rela­xed way, begins to milk her. After a whi­le, he invi­tes us to try. A bit hesi­tant and embar­ras­sed, we go ahead and rea­li­ze that it is by no means easy.

At mil­king school

He tea­ches us how to hold the hands and how to tighten. Ste is up,  but even fol­lo­wing the instruc­tions, he can’t pull out a great deal of milk. Then it’s my turn to try, so I kneel near to the goat in the midd­le of the straw and, with a lit­tle fati­gue, I milk her! The result of my work is just two fin­gers of milk, and we’­ve been told that one liter is nee­ded for a chee­se. It would pro­ba­bly take us the all day then! Hap­py for the unex­pec­ted expe­rien­ce, we lea­ve the sta­ble wel­co­med by the baby goa­ts and warm­ly say good­bye to our tea­cher.

Jumiè­ges Abbey is sur­roun­ded by green mea­do­ws and tall trees

We walk to the Jumiè­ges Abbey, which has just ope­ned. Two tour buses have pou­red throu­gh the entran­ce. To avoid the cro­wd we do the visit in the oppo­si­te direc­tion to that recom­men­ded by the map pro­vi­ded at the entran­ce so we are able to enjoy the archi­tec­tu­ral com­plex almo­st always alo­ne.

The ruins of the Abbey still con­vey a sen­se of maje­sty

The Roma­ne­sque buil­ding, part of a mona­ste­ry, which still sur­vi­ves a small por­tion of the cloi­ster, is pre­ser­ved. Only the tal­le­st mason­ry remains, giving the idea of the abun­dan­ce of the abbey archi­tec­tu­re.

Our Nor­man adven­tu­re ends here. We get to the van and head towards Rouen, from whe­re, after a short break, we dri­ve back to Hol­land.

Tips
Jumiè­ges Abbey: 6,50 €