Tuesday, May 8, 2012

How to Use a River

The Sorgue is such a pretty river, and I enjoyed sitting by it in my hotel dining room as I ate breakfast and dinner. Others enjoy the river and use it in other ways. I saw at least one fisherman and often two or three trolling the banks of the river both morning and evening while I ate. In all honesty, though, I never noticed that any of them caught anything! There was a pair of ducks that frequented my stretch of river as well; they would entertain me with their comings and goings and quackings. This part of the river is the backdrop for a lovely contemplative garden at the Petrarch museum.

Garden art dedicated to Petrarch's unrequited love for Laura..
These kids are using the river to practice their white-water kayaking skills.
They looked to be middle-school age...
.and they were having the best time! Never saw one of them wipe out!
A little further upstream, this waterwheel uses the river's power to make paper
activating the levers that pound rags with river water turning them into a fine, milky sludge
The papermaker dips a framed screen into the sludge bringing it out with a coating that quickly dries into paper
which he then peels off and stacks.
This process has been going on since the 1400's here in Fontaine-de-Vaucluse. You can buy paper here for art and writing projects as well as paper made here and imprinted with quotes, maps, drawings, etc.
There's more to this river than just its beauty.

1 comment:

  1. The rivers around here had many mills along their length - sawmills, flour mills, even walnut oil mills. Only one or two are still working while others are museums.