By GERRY BARKER
Photos by Gerry Barker
It's Day Two of our Rhone River wine cruise on AmaWaterways' AmaKristina ship. Today, Pam and i have signed up for two excursions -- both included with our fare. In the morning, we took the "Van Gogh Walking Tour," following in the footsteps of famed artist Vincent Van Gogh, who lived here in 1888-89. You can read more about it HERE.
In the afternoon, we boarded a bus for a trip to nearby Les Baux-de-Provence, and afterwards, a visit to an olive farm. Les Baux-de-Provence, perched on a rocky outcrop in the Alpilles mountains, has been called one of the most beautiful villages in all of France. Here, built around the ruins of medieval castle, a geologist discovered aluminum ore and named it bauxite, after the village's name.
Our tour includes lots of free time to explore the village and discover its many charms.
Touring Les Baux-de-Provence
Visiting the Olive Farm
After leaving the village, we make the short bus ride to St. Remy and one of the olive farms -- Le Moulin du Calanquet. While France isn't the largest olive oil producer, the products from its 30,000 olive farmers are highly rated for its quality.
First introduced to the region by the Romans, the industry has rebounded from the killing frosts of 1956. Le Moulin du Calanquet can trace five generations of farmers, and use five varieties of olives in their products. On our tour, we were able to sample both the olives and the olive oils.
We learn there's a lot that goes into making that bottle of extra virgin olive oil that sits on our kitchen counter.
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