In 1699 Tournefort, a noted botanist, was asked by Louis XIV of France to undertake a voyage of scientific observation to the countries of the Mediterranean. His account of this voyage, first published in French in 1717, was quickly translated into English and found a ready readership among the sons of the gentry and aristocracy and works. This was the age of the Grand Tour and works like Tournefort's, containing descriptions and illustrations of the sites associated with classical myth and history, were popular additions to a gentleman's library. The plate on display shows the grotto at Antiparos, one of the Cyclades.

The Grand Tour Itinerary


The most common itinerary of the Grand Tour[1] began in Dover, England, and crossed the English Channel to Calais in France. From there the tourist, usually accompanied by a tutor and if wealthy enough a league of servants, acquired a coach—which would be resold on completion—and other travel and transportation necessities, such as a French-speaking guide, and set off for Paris. In Paris the traveler might undertake lessons in French, dancing, fencing and riding. The appeal of Paris lay in the sophisticated language and manners of high French society, including courtly behavior and fashion. Ostensibly this served the purpose of preparing the young British nobleman for a leadership position at home, often government-related or diplomatic in nature.

From Paris he would typically go to Geneva and experience Switzerland for a while. Then a difficult crossing over the Alps into northern Italy (such as at St. Bernards Pass), which included dismantling the carriage and luggage, and if wealthy enough he might be carried over the hard terrain by servants. Once in Northern Italy the tourist might spend a few months in Florence studying Renaissance art, then move on to Venice to do the same. From Venice it was on to Rome to study the classical ruins, with perhaps a visit to Naples for music, and to appreciate the recently discovered archaeological sites of Herculaneum and Pompeii and for the adventurous a thrilling ascent of Mount Vesuvius. From here it was back north through the Alps to the German speaking parts of Europe. The traveler might stop first in Innsbruck before visiting Berlin, Dresden, Vienna and Potsdam, with perhaps some study time at the universities in Munich or Heidelberg. Then it was on to Holland and Flanders, with more gallery-going and art appreciation, before returning across the channel to England.

(from Wikipedia)

Planning an Itinerary


If Lord Byron had been an ordinary nobleman in ordinary times, the Grand Tour would have had him going around France and Italy, perhaps Germany, and certainly to Vienna, on a post-university tour financed by his father, and in the company of a wise, experienced, but socially inferior tutor. But Byron had no father to finance him, no wise tutor to accompany him; and France, Italy, Germany and Vienna were all out of the question because of the Napoleonic wars.

So instead he borrowed £4,800 from Scrope Davies, and, accompanied by Hobhouse - no wiser than he - and William Fletcher, his faithful valet, went to Portugal, Spain, Albania, Greece and Turkey instead. Portugal they found dirty and depraved, and were nearly mugged there; Byron at least swam the Tagus - the first of his three major swimming feats. They then rode over the border and through Spain via Seville and Cadiz to Gibraltar. At Seville their landlady offered herself to Byron, who, unused to such forwardness from a bourgeoise, failed to respond. She laughed at him. At Cadiz, Hobhouse caught the clap. They saw a bullfight.

Given that there is a shortage of noblemen or women to finance a Grand Tour for us we will all simply have to be as inventive as Byron and find an alternative means. With so many virtual galleries to be found it is easy to plan a cyber Grand Tour Itinerary.

Where do you plan to spend your time while you are on tour? Have a browse and establish an itinerary for yourself.

Places of Peace and Power
Meet the Orientalists
French Orientalists in Egypt
Ibn Battuta’s Travels in Asia and Africa
Prehistoric Temples of Malta
Gozo - Island of Myths and Mysteries
Met Museum Grand Tour
Grand Tour
Italy on the Grand Tour
Postcards from Cairo
Jenny Bowker's Photo Stream

Grand Tour

Collective Blog: Grand Tour at WordPress

Grand Lemurian Tour

Collective Blog: Lemurian Tours












Week Three

Owl Creek Valley and the Alluvial Mine

Enchanteur informs you that the road that you, and your animal companion must travel, now that you have stumbled in to Lemuria, is known as Owl Creek Road. It winds it's way through Owl Creek Valley until, eventually, you reach the Olympic Mountains and the Alluvial Mine.

Fortunately, Lemuria is populated so you will never feel totally alone. You can contact people through the comment tool on all associated blogs and if you actively participate you will be signed in to a Residents Group.

The Keeper of the Mine is waiting for you at the Alluvial Mine.

keeper mine

Keeper of the Alluvial Mine by Heather Blakey

She knows that it is your time to work the ancient Alluvial Mine and seek your Eldorado.

She will introduce you to some other residents in the valley who will home host you during your stay. Some folks believe that this mine contains the elixar we are searching for. Only time will tell if it is here.

The Keeper tells you about the mine.

Before you can begin mining you have to be prepared. The mine can be very dangerous and needs to know who you are. Let me explain!

In the Forge and the Crucible by Mireca Iliade, Eliade says that “A mine or an untapped vein is not easily discovered; it is fror the gods and divine creatures to reveal where they lie and to teach human beings how to exploit their contacts.” Eliade goes on to explain in Chapter 5, Rites and Mysteries in Metallurgy, that these beliefs were held in European countries until quite recently.

“The Greek traveller Nucius Nicander, who visited Liege in the sixteenth century brings back the legend of the discovery of the coal mines of northern France and Belgium. An angel had appeared in the guise of a venerable old man and had shown the mouth of a gallery to a smith who had until then fed the furnace with wood.”

“In other traditions it is also demi-god or a civilizing hero, a divine messenger, who is the originator of mining and metalurgy. This comes out very vividly in the Chinese legends of Yu the Great, the ‘piercer of the mountains’. Yu was a happy miner who gave health to the earth instead of disease. He knew the rites of the trade.”

It is important to understand that the sinking of a mine or the construction of a furnace (in which to contain your work) are ritual operations. Mining rites persisted up to the end of the Middle Ages.

Acquire a second hand copy of The Forge and the Crucible by Mircea Eliade and learn more about these rites and ceremonies.

Soul Food’s Alluvial Mine is under the order and protection of le Enchanteur who must be appeased.

To appease her you need to leave a gift (of your work on the site) in the Keeper of the Mine’s wooden box.




One of the most beautiful mineral specimens I have ever seen - it’s an inclusion of amethyst crystals in a heart-shaped lump of moss agate - and seems a fitting gift of appeasement to the alluvial mine.
a gift from Carol Abel

I dream of dancing nymphs
And the Graces pirouetting
In a  lonely starlit valley
Where a crescent moon
Shines kindly
And the goddesses onlooking
All utterly astonished
Seeing the exhibition
And performance of such beauty
Break their hearts in pieces
And quietly weep ice
Diamond crystal tears.
Janet Andrews

To Whom Much Is Given by Lori Gloyd
The Gift that Keeps on Giving by Anita Marie Moscoso
Contemporary Drawn Thread Sampler by Soul Sister
Gifting Divinity by Heather Blakey
Antique Drawn Thread Work by Soul Sister
Seed Appeasement by Imogen Crest
Another Gift for the Keeper by Lori Gloyd
Hoping to Appease by Stacey Anne Cole
In That Sleep of Dreams by Janet Andrews
Appeasements for the Keeper of the Mine by Soulwright
Tiny Froglet's Appeasement by Tiny Froglet
Appeasement by Peace Dove

Crafted by Hands


by Soul Sister

A gift crafted by the hands of the giver is always something very special. This is an object alive with a quality that no purchased present could possibly imitate. Never mind that the end result may not be perfect; indeed any imperfections merely add to the delight and hidden meanings of the gift. For such an object hearkens from the soul of the one who made it. Every stitch, each passing of the threads, the choosing of colours, the planning of the design — all is done with only one person in mind, that to whom the gift shall be given. And so it is that the end product is much more than the object it has become. It is a piece of the maker, a part of their soul, a physical representation of their love and affection, a constant reminder of their blessings heaped upon the recipient.

Thus it is in this manner that I spin, dye, design and knit tokens of love for my nearest and dearest. It always seems to me that each time I pick up the tools to work on their gift, that I am praying for and blessing them. When I present the object to them it is as if I am wrapping them in my love. And so it is that my favourite gifts are scarves and shawls for it is part of their very meaning to enfold and wrap and keep warm. There really is nothing quite like the feeling of cuddling under a handspun and hand knit shawl. Such a gift cannot be bought. It cannot even be earned. It can only simply be given from one soul to another. It asks for nothing in return, and doesn’t even expect thanks. The gift is in the giving for both the giver and the receiver. In this way it is a metaphor for the spiritual realms wherein I try to breathe even while living in the physical world of which the shawl is part. We walk between worlds every minute, every hour. A shawl such as this is a talisman to remind us that there is more, always much more, than what we see and hear and feel.

by Soul Sister


Offer something, by way of appeasement, to the keeper of the mine on the Lemurian Grand Tour blog.