The festival of the Roman Games had just concluded, a day late, because the day of the biggest events got rained out, so had to be postponed to the following day. The temperature was chilly, the sky over the yellow sands was overcast and threatening the rain that did follow us all the way from Marseilles to Cannes, to Bar-sur-loup and hung on Tuesday morning. At the Nice airport for departure I wore a sweater under my leather jacket.
Arrived in NYC, May 2, the temperature was 90 degrees. We sweated all way in from JFK.
I'm trashed. This despite sleeping occasionally and even being able to stretch out, relatively speaking on the endless flight home. As the season barely begun, the flight from Nice was not at all full, so it was a lot more comfortable, thank goodness. It was the same on the flight to Nice. Nevertheless, as it is -- what a wreck I am. And jetlagged.
But -- what a wonderful. beautiful, perfect, dream vacation.
This vacation made many of my life-long dreams came true. This isn't an exaggeration. Ever since I was a very small child, I poured over illustrations, photographs, reproductions of paintings in encyclopedias, history text books, my piano practice score books. I passionately wanted to see these places with ruins from antiquity, gothic architecture, narrow, winding streets that had cascades of flowers and the slender pencils of poplar in the landscaped hillsides behind, the 'Roman' tiled rooftops -- and yes, even 18th century neo-classical forms such as the Jardin de la Fontaine in Nîmes. Then, to have that garden and the ruines of the Temple of "Diana"located together -- which was all the better for the adult historian that I have become, knowing that this ruin was part of one of the many temples dedicated to Emperor Augustus, erected throughout the empire to remind the provinces that Rome was in charge. To have been given this opportunity to make an historical journey that covered them all in our limited time -- this is priceless.
And the beauty, the food -- this journey was a life-time blessing. Nothing I did to earn it or deserve it -- it was just given me by D and I and el V. I am most grateful.
Due to our hosts for the beginning and the conclusion of the trip, this was so much about the best ways of growing and preparing food, maintaining the food supply, sustainable horticulture and agriculture.
|Temple Saint-Martial. Building began in the mid 1350's, concluded in 1402.|
And now, when I first sat down this AM, long before 7 AM our time, it was still quite warm. This afternoon NYC got up to 93°. When we left for Provence it was still definitely winter here, late late winter, perhaps, but winter. Climate change -- France, and all of the people like D and I and their community of their beautiful village perché (where last summer's wildfires's smoke and flames could be seen from behind the Alp that bounds their backyard), who are working on methods to keep people eating, have a great deal to do!
I filled 70 pages in my moleskine notebook. I took many, many photos. Most of them are still on my memory card. When I'm a little less tired, I will download them to my hard drive and gloat over my memories.