The other day we went to a place called Fontvieille, which is a village in the natural park of Alpilles in the Provence area of France. Daudet was a famous French writer and poet from that area (Nîmes) and whilst visiting friends, my human wanted us to go and see Alphonse Daudet’s Windmill in Fontvieille.
I don’t mind my human’s interest in music, art and literature…sometimes!…but I was not convinced a visit to Daudet’s windmill was going to be my thing!
Hmmmm..ok – here’s the windmill behind me!
With the lesson in French literature over (hurrah!) and once past the windmill, my human led me to a walking trail through some super forest surroundings and countryside where I heard my lead clip off and the magic words ‘go play’!
(‘Lettres de mon moulin’/ ‘Letters from my windmill’ – this place was very important to Daudet and on the plaque below he explains that the trace of places and of being in almost all his books lead back to this area or ‘corner of rock’)
I was so happy to run around in such wonderful sniffing aromas of pine forests, olive groves and garrigues..what a nice suprise Vikki gave me. If I am a good girl when we are doing ‘Vikki things’ (mostly boring stuff!), there is a good chance we get to do ‘Zola things’ afterwards..which are obviously far more exciting!
I just wasn’t expecting so much forest fun behind the windmill!
The signpost at the start of the walk to the windmill:
(Vikki says there are other local walks with so much history attached to them like the walk to Montauban Castle or the circuit towards the ‘valleys of Raymond’ up to Roman aqueducts which was also the pilgrimage path of Santiago of Compostela towards Arles.)
Some pictures from some of our walks there:
You know, this area appears in lots of famous paintings as well as in Daudet’s writing. Van Gogh rented a cottage around here (the yellow house’ in Arles) and Gaugin used to visit him since he loved this area for its light. Click here to see some of their paintings and how the area influenced their work.
Daudet wrote that poets ‘can still see the world through the eyes of children’…I wonder what he would have said about the world through the eyes of dogs? 🙂