Thursday, October 17, 2013

Thursday night. Where did the time go?
I will have to retrace our steps all the way back to Sunday. Sunday's highlight was an early birthday celebration for Kathryn. It turns out that our favorite restaurant in all of France so far is right in our little mountain town of Anduze. Fantastic vegetarian food. Each day something different. . .at least 5 different delicious vegetables creatively cooked on each plate and looking beautiful of course. Then we took a train ride through part of the Cevennes mountains, crossing gorges and clear rivers. This would be a heavenly place in the summer, with endless mountain hikes and places to camp and swim.
Monday, we drove Kathryn to the train station in Nimes. She is greatly missed! Then Coral and I drove to Arles, once home to Vincent Van Gogh and the site of many of his paintings. I tried to follow the tourist route from site to site for his paintings, but gave up. Let's just say that the light there is special and spectacular and it is  easy to see why Van Gogh loved it there, between the light and the Rhone River. Arles is a wonderful town, with absolutely no straight lines. Round and round we wandered through the ancient and beautiful circular streets, always aware of the sky, the light, the soft clouds, the water. It is one of my favorite places so far. And how I love Van Gogh!
Tuesday was a rainy day. The moisture so thick in the air, I felt like I was drinking it. The streets of Anduze were totally deserted. We walked here and there in the drizzle and then home for a quiet day.
Wednesday, we went to Pont du Gard and Avignon. Pont du Gard was a place of perfection. Some- times the way that the water (here, the crystal clear river) earth (cliffs and riverside) and heaven (soft clouds) meet, is almost too exquisite for words. There are many wonderful hiking trails there along the river and up the cliffs and we may go back. . .but we are in for a lot of rain. There is  a museum there  which shows how the Romans built this enormous structure (the biggest aqueduct they ever constructed), most of which is underground, carrying water from the town of Uzes to the city of Nimes. The engineering is so brilliant and precise. I still am awed that they could construct this system over a thousand years ago.
Then, we drive to Avignon, another lovely city, and once the home to French popes. I love the Medieval architecture and am jealous of the women who got to wear beautifully embroidered and colored long velvet robes or dresses. I want one. We looked at everything from the outside as there are many entrance fees and we had already paid quite a lot for Pont du Gard. It was good enough, tho we may go back.
Yesterday and today were warm, sunny and gorgeous,., which is fortunate, becos we have lots of rain coming. We went to the outdoor market day in Anduze. Such lovely food, fresh from the earth. People here really live so close to the earth. I enjoy that.  A hike through the woods  in the afternoon, and lots of laundry, taking advantage of the sun to dry it.
Diane comes tomorrow and we will meet her friends, including a French healer who studied with a Lakota medicine man!      

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