I first came upon the Fontaine de Vaucluse 26 years ago on my journey through France in my faithfull deux chevaux called Dolly. The crystel clear water gushing from the foot of a 235 metre high lime stone cliff took my breath away today just as it did all those years ago.
The activity at this site dates back to the stoneage. It has seen hermits, poets (Petrach) bandits and treasure seekers. Intrepid divers have recovered over a thousand antique coins dating back to the first century BC. Jacques Cousteau narrowly escaped death when diving with contaminated compressed air. Luckily he survived to bring us his incredible work of education and conservation of aquatic life.
This extra-ordinary spring gives birth to the river Sorgues springing from the closed valley (Vallis Clausa in Latin) it is the largest spring in France and the fifth largest spring in the world, the annual flow is 630 million cubic metres.
After visiting the bustling market of Carpentras on the Friday morning we drove to the Fountaine of Vaucluse. The emerald green of the river weed was so bright it was hard to imagine it was real. We loved it there, my group would have liked to have spent a few days to explore and to paint, sadly our time was limited and we had to get back to lunch and Anna. What a hardship! We sketched and took photographs, this painting was one of the outstanding creations of the day. By Jen.
Our lunch in the garden.