Monday, May 16, 2011

Highs and Lows

The past few days have been full of driving and sightseeing - spectacular roads that have made M. giggle with delight and me reaching for that special bag I swiped from the airplane!
Below is a picture taken from high in the French Alps, early in the morning on a beautiful day. If you click on the picture and look in the center portion you will see some people standing in the lookout, looking over a gorge. (It isn't me - no way!)

The drop off on the other side of this guard rail is immediate and deep (and I am using that term loosely as it's barely 18" high and in my opinion, wouldn't stop a car for nothing! M. says they're just guidelines for drivers!).
Farther along we came upon this tunnel with a hole in the mountain beside it - when I got out to take the picture I suffered a serious case of vertigo and had to hold on to the car for a minute to get my bearings. Again, steep drop off does not even begin to describe it - at least here the guard rails came up waist high but I never got closer than ten feet to it regardless.

The night before we stayed in a hotel high in the alps that had been in business, and in the same family, since 1737. It was a charming place, complete with the requisite blue shutters of Provence and we loved it. 
That night as I leaned out the window, with the shutters banging in the wind (loved that too!) I saw the Abby, high on the hill, all lit up - Beautiful. Magical. Old.

Today we drove up to Vaison La Romaines and spent the day wandering the Roman ruins. 
It was something, to stroll along walkways that were built over 2000 years before, to peer into what was a kitchen, complete with a stone sink, the hole for the pipe to bring hot water clearly visible.
How long would that sink have taken to chip out?

As I walked these ruins, time stood still for me.
A connection to people was what I felt strongest - so much of what we have was developed by the Romans so in a sense, this was a coming home - a time to think about those who really came before, who figured out things we have never had to wonder about except "Why are twelve inches called a foot? And why is it an inch anyway?"
And so on...

And I also thought about the value of taking the time to do something well.

2000 years later, our words, our deeds and our ideas may mean much to someone.


Createology said...

Thank you Jillayne for sharing your travels. The photos are breathtaking and I can only imagine being there in person. The incredible feats of the ancient civilizations are beyond our understanding. That is why we marvel at them so much. Happy and safe travels my dear...

Marj Talbot said...

That reminds me of the Columbia Ice Fields with the view from above. However, the terrain is much more rugged and very beautifull. Have you tasted the sourdough bread with the P swirled on it. I didn't get the name of it on the cooking channel but it looked soooooooooooooo good.
Stay safe - both of you.

Shirley said...

Hi Jillayne, I am so enjoying your pictures and your blog post of your trip. You have gone someplace that I know I will never see in my lifetime that I would love to, but I am not a great one for heights. I finally made it to Pike's Peak in Colorado, but I made sure I didn't get to close to the edge. Have fun which it sounds as though you really are. Your Missouri Friend.

Dorthe said...

Hi dear Jillayne-
OH all this photoes brings bach memmories, from years long gone, where I have travelled in both France and Italy- driving many times in areas like thise- yes a bit frightening, better to not think-and to not look down - :)
But how very beautiful- -thankt for the memmories,
And dear,I will send you a packet...
Hugs from Dorthe

Celestina Marie Designs said...

Hi Jillayne,
What a wonderful trip you are on and I have so enjoyed catching up on all your posts. Your pics are incredible and I am sure you will have many memories to last a lifetime!!
Have a wonderful time and safe travels. Don't look down!!.
Hugs and Blessings,
Celestina Marie

Michelle May (Shell) said...

This is just so much fun taking this trip with you girlfriend. I'm having such a great time.
xx, shell