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<<  -- 2 --  Jennifer Paull    REMINISCENT RETROSPECTIVES


The route which led to Italy followed the river through the Rhône Valley, where I now live. Bordered on either side by majestic Alps, the plane leads to the pass over which lie the Val d'Aoste and Italy. Ever since Roman times until the days of modern transportation, this route had been the only possible means of access from the west. The Roman road is still visible today, as are villa ruins and a newly restored amphitheatre. I took part in a performance of Nicolas de Flüe by Arthur Honegger with which it was brought back to life after sixteen centuries of inactivity. Wild cherry trees had been growing in the arena! Cleared and repaired, the acoustics and the setting are still amazing.

Vouvry and its stained glass windows

The Church in my mediaeval Swiss (non-Euro) village has stained glass windows in the Choir dating from 1488. They show purposeful scholars advancing along the valley on horseback. When they were erected, this part of Canton Valais belonged to France. Borders have changed, currency has modified, but the quest for learning, culture and art, has always reduced our planet to a relatively small world for the few who study each speciality.

What provisions did one take when setting out upon such an adventure ? How simple it would have been to load a leather saddle bag full of Euros. The planning of a trip through many lands must have prevented all but the most dedicated.

The wonderful thing is that scholars, musicians and merchants did risk everything. They risked their lives to soak in and absorb the diversity of other cultures and peoples, exporting their own at the same time.

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Copyright © 11 January 2002 Jennifer Paull, Vouvry, Switzerland






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