La Fontaine De Vaucluse

Jan Leeming

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Me looking brave before taking to the air (and the wing) of the plane. Wow, it was cold !! But the whole experience was totally exhilarating.



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Computers and the internet are amazing things. One of my concerns with putting together this site was that it could remain current, yet with all my travelling I've often much to say, but little time to say it. Years ago when reading the news it would take me days on end to reply to the kind letters people sent. Now, with the magic of the modern age, I can keep you up to date with what I'm doing and other events in my life.


Date: 28th April 2016

I've lost count of the number of times I've visited Provence and I don't think there's ever been an occasion when I haven't made a pilgrimage to one of the most beautiful sites in the area - the Fontaine de Vaucluse. It is where the river Sorgue finally surfaces after a journey underground for hundreds of kilometres under the limestone escarpment. I've never seen it in winter when the water gushes out of the gorge, over the rocks and down to the valley. But it is an impressive site at any time. You climb down the rocks to the water level which differs according to the season and there's a rule on the cave wall to show the various levels the Sorgue reaches.

Jacques Cousteau attempted to get to the bottom of the Waters but was not successful. In fact it wasn't until the 1980's that a submersible was able to finally descend enough to work out the depth. The water runs so fast that it drives a large Mill Wheel and Paper has been made here since the 15th Century. You can visit the Paper works (and buy the handmade paper at a price) and see the huge hammers working up and down to pummel the material into a 'mash' which is then laid in special frames and dried. It is a complicated process and I can't really describe it accurately.

Another reason for the fame of Fontaine de Vaucluse is that Petrarch lived here for some years and is reputed to have written his famous poem to Laura whilst based at Fontaine. There's also an incredibly old and very small church. It is a magic place especially when there are few tourists as there were the day we visited. Don't go there in the summer!!

The water is crystal clear and with the sun on it looks as though it is scattered with diamonds


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