“A lightweight and sound present?”, I requested, with a touch of disdain. Gayle turned her gaze to me and commenced to explain the Carrières de Lumières present. “It’s like projections of artwork, in a quarry, mixed with music. Look, I don’t need to give away an excessive amount of however you need to go. You gained’t remorse it!”, she added. I used to be on the Avalon Rhône River cruise from Lyon to Port St. Louis and I hadn’t signed up for any excursions that day. Gayle, the cruise director, had assured me that there have been spots left on varied excursions, however she was assured I’d love the Carrières de Lumières tour. “You’ll additionally benefit from the hike which precedes the present”, she added for good measure. I used to be very impressed by the excursions on this eight-day cruise so I figured this tour wouldn’t be any totally different. “Okay, signal me up!”.
The hike within the Alpilles
The drive from Arles to Les Baux-de-Provence (map), the placement of Carrières de Lumières, was definitely scenic. We handed rice fields (that is the ‘rice bowl’ of France, the information defined) and picturesque villages, and as we neared the hills of Les Baux or Alpilles, the panorama modified to thick pine forests interspersed with towering limestone outcrops.
We stopped on the entrance of Carrières de Lumières and I puzzled the place the stone quarry was. Our information led us up a path into the forest and up the hill. At a sure level, she stopped, pointed to the bottom and stated, “The Carrières de Lumières present takes place proper under us, contained in the mountain”. My curiosity was definitely piqued now!
Views of Les Baux-de-Provence
We continued up the hill and the gorgeous views of the forested hills slowly unfolded. Alongside the best way, I constantly caught the scents of rosemary, thyme, oregano and lavender. This positive was a aromatic hike! We reached a lookout level with spectacular views of Les Baux-de-Provence, one of the crucial lovely villages in France. This medieval village is perched somewhat precariously on a hillside and is topped by the formidable ruins of a fortress.
From this level, we continued on the 1.5 hour hike across the hills earlier than slowly making our approach again to the doorway of the Carrières de Lumières.
My pleasure grew as we stood in line to enter the quarry. I actually didn’t know what to anticipate however the concept of seeing a lightweight and sound present inside a mountain positive sounded extraordinary. I simply hoped I wouldn’t really feel claustrophobic in there!
The door opened and we entered the quarry. I gasped! Earlier than me was a cavernous house with huge partitions and gigantic stone columns.
I later realized that this quarry, known as Les Grands Fonds, opened in 1800. Its stone was used for the event of villages and cities within the area earlier than it closed in 1935. Deserted, the positioning shortly grew to become common amongst artists.
In 1959, Jean Cocteau filmed “The Testomony of Orpheus” contained in the quarry. In 2012, beneath the inventive route and administration of CultureSpaces, the Carrières de Lumières opened with an exhibition of the works of Van Gogh and Gauguin.
A wander by means of the works of Kandinsky
The lights quickly dimmed and the present began. Pictures appeared on the massive partitions, accompanied by the swirling rhythms of Vivaldi. I stood transfixed, in whole awe of this merely magical expertise.
Within the first a part of the present, the vivid works of Wassily Kandinsky crammed the house. Everybody was clearly mesmerised as the colorful artwork crammed each inch of the partitions, then transitioned into different artworks. The spotlight was his well-known ‘Squares with Concentric Circles’!
The projections appeared to bop on the partitions, typically with an uncanny 3D impact. The music, a incredible mixture of basic and up to date, partnered completely with the photographs; at instances, uplifting, then dramatic and melancholic, and infrequently humourous and spirited.
Some individuals picked a spot whereas others selected to walk round slowly to totally immerse themselves within the marvel and awe of this bewildering present.
Cezanne, bigger than life
The second a part of the present featured the works of post-Impressionist painter, Paul Cezanne, often called the ‘Grasp of Provence’ for his portrayal of the landscapes and folks of Provence.
The Provence landscapes, portraits and nudes felt bigger than life as they graced the partitions in sweeping succession.
The whole present lasted about an hour. The manufacturing work is nothing in need of superb and the result’s really awe-inspiring! The very first thing I knew I needed to do as quickly as I returned to the Avalon ship: THANK GAYLE! This turned out to be one of many highlights of this France river cruise.
This go to was one of many excursions throughout my eight-day Lively & Discovery Rhône River cruise with Avalon Waterways. Nevertheless, you may also go to the Carrières de Lumières multimedia present by yourself or as a part of a tour from close by Arles or Avignon. Learn extra about my Avalon Rhône River cruise and about issues to do in Avignon.
Notice: this submit is a results of the #AvalonAD undertaking, a collaboration between iambassador and Avalon Waterways. Nevertheless, all views expressed above are mine, and mine solely.