Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Grape harvest and Pont Julien

I had to work this morning, and Alan still needed to polish up his presentation, so Mom and Dad went on a walk around the town and into the valley below without us. They were picking grapes in one of the vineyards below us, but the picking machine had jammed. Dad was very disappointed that they had a machine as he had high hopes of hiring me out to pick grapes with the gypsies, who (he was sure) sang and told stories while they picked. We could see the vineyard from our window, and so got a few photos from up here once the machine was fixed. It drives over top of the row, and we have yet to figure out how it picks the grapes without squashing them. They worked very quickly, emptying the machine into little trailers pulled by tractors who then rushed off to who knows where with their load of grapes.

Grape picker heading over a row of vines
Dumping its load after 2 rows
In the late afternoon, Mom, Dad, and I drove the few minutes down the road to Pont Julien (which we have passed multiple times on our way to other places but never stopped at, except for Alan who had a picnic here with SCAD his first weekend). The bridge was built in the 3rd century along the Domitian Way that linked Italy and Spain. While the river now seems to hardly need a bridge, apparently the floods can be sever as the bridge’s two-pier design was specifically to help it withstand floodwaters.

See the modern bridge in the background?
Not nearly as cool...
In the evening, Mom and I went on walk up to the chateau. We found the ancient stage where Pierre Cardin (fashion designer and owner of the 42-room chateau) now holds theatrical events in the summer, and then wandered down the road back into town.

Vines are turning colors
Cat had found a ledge in town
This house had a beautiful horse, who I got to talk to me.
Dad wanted to know what it said. Bonjour, of course ;)
House on the edge of town
History of Protestants in Lacoste

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