Friday, July 26, 2013
The village seen from the castle ruins
Last week we took a short drive to Les Baux, the site of a now-ruined castle perched on top of the rocky Alpilles mountains. The area was inhabited by the Celts around the 2nd century BC and was the seat of a feudal lordship in the Middle Ages. The castle has a really rich, varied history, ending with it's destruction ordered by Cardinal Richelieu in 1632 (all this from the wikipedia site, if you are dying to know more).
We were with our friends from Portland, and the girls were real troopers. It is a huge site, and it was a bloody hot day, so we even though we were there for hours, we only saw a fraction of the ruins.
The highlight of the day, at least for me, was a trip down the hill from the castle to Les Carrières de Lumières, the site of a former rock quarry that has been turned into an amazing sound and light show. Apparently the show changes annually — we were lucky enough to catch one featuring Monet, Renior and Chagall, although many other artists were represented. Imagine walking into a massive rocky quarry, with walls 40-feet high, and rooms hundreds of feet long. You're in total darkness for a moment. Then, one by one, the walls around you are covered with art. The art is constantly changing though, in time with the music that's also filling the space. You are free to roam around the space, every moment a new discovery. We stayed for at least an hour, and had the pleasure of discovering a 2-minute-long bonus show with images from nature starting with a storm in the quarry and ending with a trip through space. The whole thing was fabulous.
Can you see Anna spinning Mattea around in the foreground? The girls began dancing to the classical music the minute we entered the quarry.
Anna and David become part of the art.
In some cases the projections went along the floor as well.
The walls “filled up” with water starting at the bottom. Here we are surrounded by floating jellies.