This lively ceiling is in the Museum of the History of Polish Jews, one of the most interest and modern museum’s that I have ever visited. The ceiling is a replica of a synagogue ceiling. By a strange coincident we visited on 1 September, which was the anniversary of the invasion of Poland; 1 Sep 1939 – the beginning of the second world war.
Just around the corner is Mila 18 which played a significant role in the Warsaw Ghetto.
The Warsaw Uprising Museum is build inside an old power station with labyrinthine corridors that seem to wind all over the place. Now I know a little about the Ghetto Uprising, but I was completely aware that there was a separate city uprising when the population stood against the retreating Germans and the approaching communists. It was a very interesting and sobering experience.
Underground printing press
The room dedicated to the children was sad, yet interesting how involved children were in the basis survival of the city during world war 2. Children were often used as couriers to pass messages around (a big theme in Milage 18).
“Little Insurrectionist” – Child soldier
There was even a replicator of a Liberator B-24J bomber – you can see the eagle about to grab onto the swastika. The museum is full of interesting multi-media experiences – very modern and well-though out. A far cry from the museum’s of the past.
Liberator B-24J bomber
Today, we went to the villiage of Sault, the lavender capital of Provence. What looked like a 50km drive on the map turned out to be a drive along the smallest and most bendy road I have ever been on. I think that our average speed must have been about 5 km/h. However, when we arrived at hilltop town of Sault, the view made it all worthwhile. There was field after field of purple lavender bushes, all alive with the buzzing of thousands of bees, busy pollinating the bushes. You could see all the way down the Luberon valley, and to the snow-capped mountains in the distance. This is some of the most beautiful scenery that I have ever seen.
Although it can get quite frustrating driving down the narrow roads, constantly being slowed down by blind corners, roundabouts and tractors, it is a really pretty, laid back part of the world. I very quickly learned that since you are going nowhere quickly, there is no point in rushing. Rather slow down, enjoy the view and arrive when you do.
On the way to Sault, we made two stops. The first was at the lavender museum in Coustellet, where they have a short video showing the growing and harvesting of the lavender. They also have many exhibits detailing the distillation process. There are loads of old copper stills, very reminiscent of the whiskey stills in Scotland. I was staggered to hear how much lavender is required to obtain the oil. You need about 300 kg of lavender to make 1kg of essential oil.
The second stop was at a wine shop (also in Coustellet), where we wanted to stock up on wine. This shop had a very interesting feature. There were about six petrol pump hoses in the shop, which were used to fill your own containers with the local vin ordinaire. They just measured off the wine and charged by the litre.
We were really thirsty and asked for a bottle of water. We were a bit startled to be presented with a wine bottle filled with water. So it was a rather interesting site seeing Craig and Lois driving down the road, drinking straight from a wine bottle. I am glad we did not have to explain that to a traffic officer.
Both lavender, and lavandin grow in France. Lavender only grows between 600 and 1500m. It is cultivated for the pure oil, which contains medicinal properties. Lavandin grown almost anywhere, is far more hardy and prolific than lavender. It is mainly used for cosmetics, however it has no medicinal properties.