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Time Travelling at Le Roc Branlant

I’ve a strong liking for big rocks, I’ve a strong liking for old postcards, so I was thrilled when I found some old postcards featuring a big rock that I knew well.  The Roc Branlant, or the wobbly rock, (no sniggering at the back there, you school boy French speakers) is not far from us, in a village called St Estèphe.  It’s a lovely walk up through the forest to its resting place, at the end of jumble of huge, flat boulders, deposited by some fancy glacial action a long time ago.  The rock itself is a mighty 3m high and is balanced just so, so that it’s possible to wobble the rock without much effort.  I’m fascinated to think about who first discovered the rock could move and how through the generations, people have walked up, touched the rock, pushed it, wobbled it, shoved something breakable under it!  Over the years many legends have formed around the rock and its neighbouring stones which are called the ‘Devil’s Rosary’. It’s rumoured that once, the big rock guarded the gates of Hell! 

Tradition now dictates that if you squash a coin under the rock it’ll bring you luck.  When two of my nephews were kids they loved the squashing of coins. I still have some of their lucky charms and amazingly, those kids still have all their fingers!

Anyway, I had it in mind to try to recreate those pics from the olden days, so we enlisted the help of a couple of chums and up we went, with camera and tripod as our forbears must’ve done and here’s the result…