Yesterday was the last trip that I am taking with the school here. Our first stop was the Carrieres de Lumieres in Les Baux-de-Provence. It was kind of a cool as they projected art onto all of the walls and the floor of the quarry. It was super windy and also cold there because we were up in the Alpines. The monument was really pretty because they project art onto all of the walls and the floor of the quarry. These quarries were dug to extract the white limestone used to build the castle and the town of Les Baux. In 1935, the economic competition of modern materials led to the closure careers. After that the quarries were abandoned until the 60’s when they were rediscovered by Jean Cocteau. It wasn’t really until the 70’s though that they really started using it as a monument. It was really hard to take pictures of but I did get a few decent ones, taking pictures of art is pretty hard. The theme of the monument changes pretty often but when we were there it was the Artists of the Mediterranean. It was pretty amazing to walk around because they would take the original images and sometimes include animations that enhanced the artwork. They also accompanied it with music which made it a lot more interesting to walk around and see. The show lasted about forty minutes and was on a constant repeat.
Then we arrived in the city of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue which is a small town in the Vaucluse department of Provence. It is a really cute town that has a lot of canals and foot bridges as well as water wheels. I saw about four water wheels which still work. Though I haven’t been to Italy the town reminded me of it a lot because of all the bridges and canals. The town is also famous for its antique shops and antiques market that happen on most Sundays. It also has a lot of waterside café’s and restaurants though most of them were closed with it being winter. I heard that there are usually more people there during the summer time but with it being winter the tourism season is mostly over. We were there on the market days so I got to walk around and look at all the different shops.
The next stop was the Fontaine de Vaucluse. This was also a really small town with not very many inhabitants at all. The town is built around a spring in a valley at the foot of the Vaucluse Mountains. The spring is the source of the river in the town we had just been in which is the Sorgue River. The spring is the largest in France and is also the fifth largest in the world. I would have liked to get a really good look at it but because we are on the schools insurance policy during these trips they didn’t let us actually see the spring. They only let us get to where the water level would be in the Spring. They told us that the water is so cold and so deep that if you didn’t die from the fall or drowning, you would die from freezing to death as the water is extremely cold. I wasn’t so upset about not seeing it as I am sure being as clumsy as I am, I would have fallen in. It was also very steep.
Then after that, we walked back into town with the promise of going to a French Resistance museum and if we had time a paper mill. The French resistance museum was kind of interesting because it showed how the French resistance during World War II occupation would make the most out of ever resource that they had. They would make candles out of meat grease and also use water from boiling pasta to make soup. It was an interesting museum but after we were done with it we didn’t have time for the paper mill.
Finally, it was about time to leave so we headed back to the bus. I bought some postcards and then also we were looking at a chichi stand. Chichi’s are a kind of beignets that I guess are really popular to the region. One of the adults said that they are made from fried garbanzo beans. But I couldn’t find anything out about them. They definitely didn’t taste like beans though. One of the adults let us try one and they were like doughnuts. They also were kind of like elephant ears but more fluffy and covered in sugar. I really liked them! After that our day was over and we were bused back to Aix!