September 23, continuing journal notes:
31 July 2022:
Entering the Haute Loire at 11 50 am. Fortresse de Polignac, very eerie black stone.
12 noon: the extraordinary city of Puy en Vallee, said to be where the Holy Grail was located.
**The Line of the Archangel--the San Michele myth, also excellent for "Forest".
12 noon. Le Rocher L'Aguile, San Michele--at sunset [?notes?]
The Balsa volcanic rocof Augergne, Haute Loire. Darker walls, stones. In contrast to Provence, where it becomes more pink and there are the tell-tale light blue shutters as well.
Lunch in a lovely cafe, just below a massive rather intimidating, dark Cathedral. A speciality of the area, a "Truffade"
Cathedral of the Black Madonna and the paintings, well liked by Gabriele, of Philippe de Champagne.
Already there is the L'Occitane language
**At the tomb of Bertrand du Guesclin. At 16h we enter in the Ardeche valley, a magnificent river, with wild pines, magnificent hills at 1000meters. Dramatic stone houses many attractive restaurants. Pine covered mountains, hairpin curves down the legendary Gorge d'Ardeche en route to the Rhone.
The stones of Provence, a light pale pink and grey, well-maintained.
"Un village du caractere"
calcaire in Provence, melted by acid. Different family from granite, which cannot be melted by acid. Basalt--old volcanoes.
16.35 Route de Aubemes
***Bertrand de Ventadour, one of the most famous Troubadour in Provence;Chateau de Tenatdone.
The Route de Gorge de Ardeche
Father of the Knights Templars, Bernard of Clairvaux, when Muslims began to attack asked permission from Pope to fight. Several of the monks became knights. The knights templar started a bank, became eventually the Bank of France. The Teutonic Order and the Knights of Saint John.
19.15 The end of Ardeche, we enter into L'Occitane, after Gabriele stole grapes, urged on by his wife...
19:10--We cross the Rhone! Official entry into Provence. Department de Vacluse, with a view of Mont Vetoux on a beautiful country road.
Portes de Provence. Haut Vacuse, a tunnel of trees.
August 1 2022. En route to Gordes, 8 10 am. "Most beautiful village in Provence", filming of a movie, 'A Year in Provence'. Cypresses, beautiful stones, the balcony of Provence. Jean Genoux, the greatest writer of Provence.
9:30. Rouissillon. Beautiful backroad from Gorges; ochre so intense that some of its pond mixed with water creates watercolors.
Calanco ochre and clay; water createes fracture (?). 9 45 Road to Forcalquier, very beautiful, along small river, the pale pink stone and the blue shutters.
10am. Pass from Vacluse to Haute Provence and les Alpes.. Beautiful allee of canopied trees. Fairy tale provence. 10:15 Alpes de Provence, Maritime Alps.
Comte Forcalquier...Comte Sabran...des Beaux..D'Agoult.
Van Gogh light and Leonardo's theorty of 'white skies'.
11am August 1 2022
Castle of Troubadour who died fighting Tsar of Bulgaria . Stayed behind after 1204
Rheinbaut....Rainbaut da Vaqueivas
Les Mees mountains like "petrified monks", orange in the evening. "Like Zurbaran". Created by rain digging into the ochre, looks like a procession of Zurbaran monks.
The treasures of the Saracens, Chevre Dior, follow her. 1000 lost. Treasures of the Saracens
Rock of the Des Beaux---Aix in Provence. Every village claims to have lost the treasures of Abdul Rahmen
For 150 years the Saracens were the masters of the Western Alps.
"Resume par image" Dynasty of Barcelona dates back to the Balearics. Time of Charlemagne. With marriages expanded to the Langue D'Oc beyond Pyreenes. Became Counts of Provence. From Barcelona to the Maritime Alps , an extraordinary culture. Troubadour culture.
Roman Berenguer, wife of Richard the Lionhearted. Found close to Alpine passages to ITaly founded 2 cities Barcelletto" This was L'Occitane. Aroused the jealousy of kings of France, Louis Philippe. Pretext to invade was a hereitcal monk [?] in Toulouse like the Bogomils. This civilization disappeared. The kings of France became the Counts of Provence.
***According to legend, the first of the Counts of Barcelona during battle was mortally wounded, his bloody hand tracing his golden armor and the "stripes" that this made became the design of his Wappen. Ancestor the Kings of Aragon in the 9th century who were battling the Saracens.
11:40 En route to the Rock of Cisteron.
11:45 Clou de Provanca.
11:46 Massive rock geological formation. Stone of Calcaire, huge wedge, dividing deep into the gorges, in fine, thin vertical gorges. Imposing phenomenon.
12 noon. G: the heart of Provence are all the villages autour de Mont Ventoux".
12:05 Valde Durance. Approaching the Maritime Alps. 12:10 Dukes of Talldaird (?). These owned the Leonardo "Lady of the Yarnwinder". Now in the collection of the Duke of Buccleuch (Book Lee Och).
Passing to Italy 1 August 2022 First Pass: La Madeleine Provence. The association with the Magdalene who came to Provence after fleeing Jerusalem.
Pass 2 Mont Geneve close to Mont Cenis.
Chateau of Tallard. Typical of Italian Renaissance...Copied by French after conquest of the Dukes of Milan.
"Better a Master who is far than a Lord who is close"--Des Beaux in relation to Barcelona Counts and other jealous families of Provence.