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Thursday, August 22, 2013

Day 6 - Fontaine de Vaucluse

After the kayaking, we returned to the hotel for shower and to get changed. Feeling hungry, we went out to our next destination for lunch, and sight seeing the place as well. 

The place we were going to this time is called Fontaine de Vaucluse.

Not knowing if there is any car parking area in the village center, husband stopped by a paid car park area at the entrance. From there, we walked into the village.

From the outlook of those houses, we could tell this is a very old village.

Fontaine de Vaucluse was built around a spring in a valley. It was named after the spring, the source of the River Sorgue.

This village of 600 inhabitants indicates human occupation since the neolithic era.

Quite a long walk before reaching the center...

Houses along the road...

Fontaine de Vaucluse is a medieval village tucked in a "closed valley", 25 km east of Avignon.

A key feature of this place is an amazing and unique sight of a river gushing up out of the ground, of which husband said worth a visit.

About 10 minutes later, finally we arrived at the center.

The village of Fontaine de Vaucluse is squeezed into the sharp end of a narrow valley and takes its name from the beautiful and mysterious spring feeding the river Sorgue.

It's very hot walking under the hot sun. Luckily those big trees had given us a very cool shade of shelter.

There are many shops at the center, indicates this place is not so "closed" but touristic instead.

Never mind about it being touristic, this village is charming to tour around.

We walked a bit further in, then we saw this crystal clear river again, running through the village.

It was peak hour for lunch, so it's not so easy to find a table in good restaurant like this.

This restaurant is the same too, full house.

We walked further inside, with a hope to find a restaurant with empty table.

Finally, we found a table in this open air restaurant. Although the foods were so so, we have no complaint.

While waiting for the foods, I walked across the road to check out the post card.No doubt the "source of water" is the highlight of this place.

After the lunch, William insisted to go to this Le Monde Souterrain for a quick look.

Apparently, this is a museum of the underground world, displaying the prehistory time lines and vestiges, stalactites, 400 crystals etc. Guided visit is mandatory, takes approximately 40 minutes long.

The boys would like to join the tour, but this was not in husband's itinerary for the day. Furthermore, it said that advance booking is needed. So, we didn't bother to check it out.

We left the cave fast, then moved on.

We walked further in...looked back to the bridge.

We thought we would have sweated a lot walking to the source of water.Luckily, the path are quite shady with big trees along. Furthermore, there are quite some small shops to stroll around, so it's a pleasant walk.

Among all, those handmade artworks are the most interesting.

Anyway, we did expose ourselves under the hot sun for some parts, but for a short distance.

Souvenir stalls line up the walk up to the source...

The running river on the right hand side is especially charming...

Awesome river front....

Simply mesmerizing....

A charming restaurant, Restaurant Philip sits just next to the river.

It's truly a blessing to enjoy this beautiful view while dining.

of course, dining at a place like this won't be cheap.

but yet, it's still worth it, as long as one still afford the price.

We continue to walk up stream...

Almost to the end point...

Met this terminally ill tree...can collapse anything, I think.

The man who brought us to here, really not a simple task.

This is the source of Fontaine de Vaucluse, at the foot of a cliff 240 m high.

The Sorgue comes from an immense underground network of waters, and has an average flow of 630 million m3 per year. It's the biggest in France and one of the biggest worldwide.

It wasn't until 1985 that the mystery of its origin was partially revealed. The lowest point is at -308 m depth attained by a robot submarine, and still no bottom.

Most recently, colored dye has been used to prove that the source originates somewhere high up on the Plateau de Vaucluse, flowing 20-30 km through rocky underground passages before it arrives at the still-looking pool.

If the season is dry, there won't be much water, but at a maximum this source produces water at an amazing 200 m3/sec, making it one of the most powerful resurgent springs in the world.

The seemingly still water is actually a full-fledged river gushing up out of the depths.

William was curious enough to walk to the bottom end...good for him.

After 20 min, we headed back....

We stopped here for a break...

30 minutes later, we left this beautiful place....

On the way back, I bought this handmade clock as souvenir. It costs me Euro 27.5, quite reasonable. This is the lady who made all these, I wish her a big success in the future. 

Husband asked us to wait for him here while he walked to take the car...

There he comes.....


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