Grottos of Provence the Caves of Villecroze

Millions of years of seismic activity, tectonic plate movement and freeze-thaw cycles created the diverse geology of present-day Provence. The region is also known as the Bouches de Rhone where the Mediterranean shoreline runs the gambit of beaches, brackish wetlands and vertigo inducing cliffs. Other natural phenomena in the area include the steep contours of the Gorges de Verdon and the volcano shaped Mont Ventoux.

Villecroze Caves #Provence #Grottos #Var @GingerandNutmeg

The caves of Villecroze are carved into the side of a sheer limestone cliff. A grotto formed by hundreds of thousands of years of water flowing over porous rock. The continuous water created tufa rock-hard calcium carbonate deposits along the cliff face. Cycles of natural erosion and deposits formed caves of smooth stone and flowing stalactites.

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Manguin Perfecting the Art of Distillation in Provence

The fruit is put into jail in May when the Manguin Distillery imprisons roughly 1400 pears in glass bottles in their orchard. Nutmeg had to see for herself how the new owners at this distillery were re-crafting a traditional industry into more of an art form.

Manguin Bottles #ManguinDistillery #Provence #Avignon Continue reading

Discover Absolutely Southern France

Nancy McGee installed herself in France some 30-odd years ago. A Canadian by birth she speaks both official languages (French and English) thanks to her French-Canadian mother. Nancy says that growing up in Baie Comeau, Quebec for those who do not know the geography is “ Basically not very far from the North Pole.”

Nancy McGee #Sete #France @AbsoluteSouthFr

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Walking Through Palm Springs History

Sombreros, sunshine and margaritas were the fuel for a series of historical walking tours in Palm Springs. Kathryn Leonard and her husband were visiting friends in and the Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende five years ago when the idea for historic walks sprouted in her head.

McCallum Adobe built in 1884 - The first house built in PS by the first white settler John McCallum and his family #PalmSprings
Kathryn is a retired schoolteacher with enough energy to challenge the energizer bunny. An avid tennis player and skier she may have finished with her professional career, but she is certainly not prepared to be idle. Kathryn told Nutmeg that during a walking tour in San Miguel de Allende she thought that the concept would work well in Palm Springs. Continue reading

Constructing An Edible Life in Canmore

The cocoa goji balls are criminal – they should be locked up!

Carole Beaton owner and operator of An Edible Life in Canmore is modest, she says that she is not a confident cook and “only started baking in the fall.” When pressed for more details, Carole admitted that she may have baked before launching her food business, but never in retail quantities.An Edible Life storefront @anediblelife #Canmore

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Thoronet Abbey a Cistercian Treasure in Provence

L’Abbaye du Thoronet was first classified as a historic French monument in 1840. Restoration work started the year after and still continues today. Nutmeg wanted to visit the Thoronet Abbey as they had already seen the “sister” abbeys Silvacane and Sénanque. The straightforward design of these buildings produced volumes of space where the only adornment would have been the harmonic chanting voices of the monks. These religious structures are stark and somber yet at the same time refreshing, no marble, no gold, no organ pipes, just natural light and acoustics.

Thoronet Abbey_panorama @GingerandNutmeg

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The Douro the Intersection of Old and New in Portugal

Lonely Planet was wrong!

The road to Quinta Santo Antonio’s perch was not rutted, but it was vertical. Ginger and Nutmeg arrived at this B&B, balanced on tiny foothold of flat land between Douro Valley vine terraces, in a state of somewhat rattled marvel.

Douro River views #Douro #Portugal @GingerandNutmeg

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