Tag Archives: provence

Chauvet Cave Paintings

Our man in France Jacques V headed down to the Ardeche region to check out the Chauvet cave and its replica that opened recently to the public. The cave contains the earliest known cave paintings in the world, which are estimated to date back about 36,000 years old!

Discovered in 1994, the cave is located in the Gorges de l’Ardeche in south-east France (near Provence) and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. Unfortunately visitors cannot enter the cave proper (due to threat of damage and deterioration) but there is an exact full-size replica just a few kilometers away, which opened on April 25 of this year–and still see an exact reproduction of this ancient art.

The paintings depict cave lions, panthers, cave hyenas, bears, rhinos, as well as “Venus” figures and hand prints. In addition to art, the cave contains a child’s footprints, charred remains of a heart, smoke stains, paw prints of cave bears, and fossilized bones of bears and of an ibex. Check out Jacques’ spectacular photos below!

IMG_2305 IMG_2306  IMG_2314 IMG_2315

http://en.cavernedupontdarc.fr/

Leave a comment

Filed under Art & Architecture, Europe, France

Agent Profile: Nancy Fowler

Galapagos 100

How did you get into travel?

I grew up in the country near the Oregon coast, on a dead end road, with few neighbors.  Books were my escape to exotic places. I really didn’t know what I wanted to do when I grew up, so I attended a business school for a travel and accounting course. My first job in a travel agency was in 1978, handwriting Pan Am tickets for their Hawaii tours.  Next up was a full time position, selling air tickets (only 3 fares –remember Continental’s Chickenfeed fare?) all done via the phone, as there weren’t computers yet.  Soon I was trusted to discuss Hawaii, Mexico, some cruises with clients.  My first work trip was Amtrak to San Francisco, followed by a trip to Hawaii.  I was hooked!

What’s your favorite trip/memories of travel?

I’ve been fortunate to have so many wonderful trips over the years, and there hasn’t been a destination that didn’t become my new favorite.  Call me fickle!  A travel consultant is ALWAYS on the job, so a favorite personal escape is Hawaii.  It is exotic, only 5 hours away, and very welcoming. Memories?  Galapagos and the crazy marine iguanas!  Snorkeling in Fiji, Cook Islands, Tahiti, Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii, Turks and Caicos.  Holding a young wombat and rubbing her tummy. Driving in Western Australia while a lizard races me (and wins).  Watching cattle dogs work in New Zealand. A cooking class in Vietnam. Getting lost in Provence and missing our train to Paris. A walking tour in Regensburg while on a Xmas Markets cruise with my daughter. Visiting New Orleans post-Katrina.  Attending a party on the heli-pad of the Celebrity Eclipse.  Fur Rendezvous in Anchorage.

What’s still on your bucket list?  

Norwegian fjords in the winter,  Argentina, safari somewhere in Africa, Kangaroo Island, Arctic, Myanmar, Black Sea, Ireland, Molokai.   And if time,  return visits to Galapagos, Alaska, Australia, Scotland, Fiji, and Panama Canal.

What’s one tip you always tell your clients? 

Be sure to take your brain and your common sense on every trip, along with an open mind for impromptu new adventures!

1 Comment

Filed under Our Travel Agents, Where in the World is the WIT Agent?

Vincent Van Gogh Foundation in Arles

vangogh3

Bonjour!

Attention Van Gogh lovers! Earlier this month the Vincent van Gogh Foundation in Arles reopened its doors after a three-year renovation. Visitors to the South of France this summer won’t want to miss the dramatic exhibition­—Van Gogh Live!—which celebrates the life and work of Van Gogh during his years here between 1880-1890.
 
Fondation Vincent van Gogh, Arles
Van Gogh Live! Exhibit: Through August 31, 2014
Open daily 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Until 9 p.m. on Thursdays
Website: http://www.fondation-vincentvangogh-arles.org/

Information provided by our friends over at CHOCOLATINE. Chocolatine is one of our Preferred Tour Operators providing services throughout France. They have worked with Willamette Intl Travel for several years, arranging specialty day tours and transfers for a discerning clientele. Call Willamette Intl Travel to discuss options for one of a kind explorations within France at 800-821-0401 or email us at info@wittravel.com.

Looking for another kind of Art Tour? Amy Osaki over at Art Tours by Amy runs amazing trips worldwide. Look for space in her upcoming trip to New York in October 2014! More information here: http://arttoursbyamy.com/new-york-art-tour/

vangogh2

Leave a comment

Filed under Art & Architecture, Europe, France

Exhibit: From Cezanne to Matisse in Aix-en-Provence

From our friends at Chocolatine: “From Cezanne to Matisse” Exhibition in Aix-en-Provence

To all our lovely travelers heading to France this summer and fall! “From Cezanne to Matisse” Exhibit Bonjour! Aix-en-Provence will host the blockbuster art exhibition of the year at the Musee Granet, from June 13 – October 13, 2013. “Le Grand Atelier du Midi” celebrates a century of artists who came to the south of France to paint the light and colors that glow from the fabled land and seascapes. The stunning show includes more than 100 masterpieces by Monet, Renoir, Cezanne, Van Gogh, Picasso, Bonnard, Matisse, and many others, from French and international collections. website: www.museegranet-aixenprovence.fr

151

Chocolatine is a preferred tour operator who has worked with Willamette Intl Travel for several years. Based in Seattle, they are dedicated to providing exceptional tailor-made tours and transfers in France for a distinct and discerning clientele. Call WIT for more information 503.224.0180 OR email us at info@wittravel.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Chocolatine, Europe, France, Travel by Taste