Suddenly we realized that we have only two days left and although we have been busy everyday, loved everything we have seen, we decided to check with our resident authorities Debi and Jim Idell to make certain we made the most of the last bit.
Following their infallible guidance we headed to Fontaine de Vaucluse and Rousillon. What a spectacular contrast of vivid color. Ochres and ochres in Rousillon and greens and turquoise in Fontaine de Vaucluse where an enormous gushing underground spring is the source of the Sorgue River.
In the 18th century an increased demand for pigments used in the textile industry intensified mining of ochres in Roussillon. Numerous quarries and ochre factories were located near the village. One ochre factory, the ‘Usine Mathieu’, is named for the family that owned it from 1870 to 1901. Earkt in the 20th century, mining techniques were modernized, which meant that more profitable ochre mines were exploited. This resulted in a gradual closing-down of ochre mines in and around Roussillon. Since the 1980s, tourism has replaced ochre industry as a source of income.
According to Wikipedia Samuel Beckett spent the war years 1942 to 1945 hiding from the Germans in Rousillon.