The Gallo-Romans should be thanked for introducing grapevines to Burgundy, now part of France. Religious orders of monks dedicated years of effort to clear heavily forested land and rid rocky soil of stones. A reputation of fine wine production was established by the 14C and continues…
Nutmeg was invited to explore Ireland with her family. The dates for the Irish tour were selected, and the itinerary confirmed. The uncontrollable was the weather. The Emerald Isle teased the group on the first day with a cool, sunny day. During the balance of the trip the sun was elusive, the rain was not – it was GREEN.
The following is one of Nutmeg’s ABC lists to give you a view of this glorious place.
It was a solo visit for Nutmeg. Ginger had no interest in the Souleiado fabric museum in Tarascon. The display provides a historical overview of their fabrics and methods of textile printing. The lighting in the small museum could be improved, and the information provided could be more explicit. The history of Indian fabrics in Provence is long, with imports starting in the late 16th century. These brightly coloured and heavily patterned cloths were cherished when they first arrived. French production of Indian patterns started in Marseille in 1648. Initially, the output was of poor quality in comparison to the imports. However, as designers and printers mastered the trade, their capabilities expanded and the quality of products improved over time.
Nutmeg has been fortunate enough to visit France several times. One year Ginger and Nutmeg joined some friends on a cycling trip through Provence. That was the beginning of their “love-affair” with the region. However, on all the previous trips the fields of lavender had already been harvested, it was too late in the season. This time Nutmeg was determined to see the flowering fields.
The lavender plant is actually part of the mint family, and there are some 39 varieties. The plants love the dry, sandy, rocky soil that is typical of the Vaucluse region of Provence. Lavender flowers come in many colours, they can be blue (almost indigo), purple, violet, even pink or white varieties exist. It is a relatively easy plant to grow, as it requires minimal care.
In May 2003, the label Jardin Remarquable (Remarkable Garden) was created, to celebrate and document the magnificent gardens of France. A Jardin Remarquable, is one that meets the established criteria; integration in the site, interesting blend of vegetation, quality of the location, engaging use of plants and where applicable provides historical interest.
In a country such as France with a rich, complex history and endless stunning vistas, one is hard pressed to pick a favourite place. A friend suggested to Ginger and Nutmeg that a day spent driving through La Vallée du Jabron, is well worth the effort. Nutmeg would like to thank their friend for the suggestion, as the valley is remarkable. The route starts just outside Sisteron (see photo below) and heads westward along the D946 through tiny hamlets. The following description, translated from the official website, is a beautiful portrayal of the valley:
From the Durance to the Luberon, from Mont Ventoux to Sisteron lives between the moon and the stars the Jabron Valley.
Giono is the mountain, the land of shepherds, lavender, olive trees …
A Kingdom of silence, a land of lights, of stars …
A valley where one finds the will to live.
Ginger and Nutmeg wish you all a very happy holiday season.
Thanks for reading!
Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock
Jingle bells swing and jingle bells ring
Snowing and blowing up bushels of fun
Now the jingle hop has begun
jingle bell rock
Jingle bells chime in jingle bell time
Dancing and prancing in Jingle Bell Square
In the frosty air
What a bright time
it’s the right time
To rock the night away
Jingle bell time is a swell time
To go gliding in a one-horse sleigh
Giddy-up jingle horse
pick up your feet
Jingle around the clock
Mix and a-mingle in the jingling feet
That’s the jingle bell
That’s the jingle bell
That’s the jingle bell rock
The potential list of must see sights in the Languedoc are endless, so Nutmeg has chosen to highlight just three spots. All three locations are related in someway to water and created in entirely different eras.
The famous Canal du Midi is yet another UNESCO World Heritage Site (1994). The canal construction was started in 1667. It was not because the Romans had not thought of it before that, they had, and so had many others, including Leonardo da Vinci. However, no one had come up with a solution on how to supply the high points with water. Then along came Pierre Paul-Riquet, he was a long time resident of the Languedoc region, in 1662 he proposed his plan to Colbert the French Finance Minister, who served under Louis XIV. The project was finally approved in October 1666, construction started in January 1667. In all, it took 15 years to build and over 12,000 workers.