Awakening the Creative Spirit within

John_Portrait_Web_2 (2)Experience the ART ofchateau_3

Sketchbook Journaling

in a Medieval Castle in Southern France

 John Dispenza

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May 27th – June 3rd, 2017

 

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Overview   /    Accommodations/Cost   /   Schedule/Excursions   /   About Us   /   Getting There   /   Register

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Schedule and Excursions

 

May 27th  –  Day 1,  Saturday

You will probably arrive into Nimes in the afternoon, and we will  transfer you to the Castle. Once there, you may settle in, relax, and enjoy the surroundings. We will have an official opening ceremony and Dinner at the Castle.slide 4 (D)

May 28th Day – 2, Sunday

After breakfast you will have a chance to visit the local Sunday Farmer’s market and get acquainted with the nearby village. You may have Lunch/wine tasting in the village.  Then we’ll go back to the castle for John’s opening presentation and you’ll get to set up your studio space. In the evening, we will walk to the village together for dinner. (B)

May 29th  – Day 3, Monday

Adventurous day at the Castle – After breakfast, you will have an all-day session with John with plenty of breaks to take advantage of a walking meditation on the river behind the castle, have a massage or body work session, or just play by the heated pool Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner will all be provided for you at the castle today. (B,L,D)

May 30th  – Day 4, Tuesdayphoto pnt du gard

Today is a day of exquisite excursions. After breakfast we will go to Pont du Gard – an ancient Aqueduct on the Gard river with amazing views.  From there we will visit   Chateauneuf-du-Pape for a lunch/wine tasting experience. This is one of the premiere wine growing districts of France. After lunch and wine-tasting, we are off to Avignon to visit the old city, the famous bridge, the main Papel square, a cathedral & garden and then to dinner before heading back to the Castle. On our day out, John will take the time to answer any questions, as he gives suggestion for en plein air  & quick sketches. (B)

May 31st – Day 5, Wednesday

Exhilarating day at the Castle – Another wonderful day at the castle with John as he offers his sessions. In addition, you will have: personal time, an opportunity to  walk along river to a nearby medieval village, have a massage or body work session or just play by the heated pool.  Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner will be provided and served at the Castle. (B,L,D)

June 1st  – Day 6, Thursdayphoto Arles

Are you ready for an amazing day after breakfast? Today we will explore Arles and visit the Van Gogh museum, the Arena, the Amphitheater, have lunch, and visit St.Paul de Mausole. After lunch we will go to St Remy de Provence, to visit Nostradamus’ home, the fountain, the Estrine Musee Interprete Van Gogh and have dinner there before heading back to Montjoie. On our day out, John will take the time to answer any questions, as he gives suggestion for en plein air & quick sketches. (B)

June 2nd – Day 7, Fridayslide 14

Mystical day at the Castle – After breakfast there will be more fabulous sessions with John,  and some intriguing possibilities throughout the day. We will then have our closing ceremony and our participants’ art exhibit before celebrating with a Medieval Feast Banquet which will be served with an authentic flair to replicate an actual medieval meal, including serving only foods that were available at that time. (B,L,D)

June 3rd –  Day 8, Saturday

We will take you back to station at Chamborigaud or Nimes to get your train back to Montpellier or Paris.

 


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EXCURSIONS

We have some great excursions planned for this retreat. We have found that starting with a general schedule and then focusing in on specific outings as our time together unfolds creates a more powerful offering.  Below are some of the areas we will be exploring together.

As you arrive into southern France, you are greeted by the amazing landscapes of rolling hills,  majestic mountains, and medieval villages scattered throughout the region. After you settle in to your castle home, you will have time to relax, explore the area, sip some mineral water or wine and breathe in the magnificence of the countryside. You will stay at the castle for the next seven days, so get comfortable and enjoy the splendor.  Please note…we know there are a multitude of ways that people wish to enjoy seeing a new place. Given all the individual desires, we do not give guided tours or walk around with an umbrella herding you to different places. We give you general information and support you in having an experience that works for you. If you wish to have a guided tour, we are happy to assist you in finding one that works at an additional cost. Here is a little information on these excursions:

Pont Du Gard

The Pont du Gard is a Roman monument built halfway through the 1st century AD. It is the principal construction in a 50
km long aqueduct
that supplied the city of Nîmes, formerly known as Nemausus, paste510with water. Built as a three-level aqueduct standing 50 m high, it allowed water to flow across the Gardon river..

In essence, the bridge is constructed out of soft yellow limestone blocks, taken from a nearby quarry that borders the river. The highest part of the structure is made out of breeze blocks joined together with mortar. It is topped by a device designed to bear the water channel, whose stone slabs are covered with calcium deposits.

In designing this three-storey bridge, which measures 360 m at its longest point along the top, the Roman architects and hydraulic engineers created a technical masterpiece that stands today as a work of art.

As a result of numerous scientific studies, we now know that an impressive volume of rock was needed to complete the construction. The figures are impressive: over 21,000 cubic metres of rock, weighing 50,400 tons!

Moreover, archaeologists also uncovered evidence of how well organized the project was. They found numbering on the stones, points of support for scaffolding, and evidence of the use of hoists.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a commune in the Vaucluse department in the Provence-Alpes-Village_of_Chateauneuf-du-Pape photoCôte d’Azur region in southeastern France. The village lies about 3 kilometres (1.9 mi) to the east of the Rhône and 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) north of the town of Avignon. In the 2012 census the commune had a population of 2,179.

A ruined medieval castle sits above the village and dominates the landscape to the south. It was built in the 14th century for Pope John XXII, the second of the popes to reside in Avignon. None of the subsequent Avignon popes stayed in Châteauneuf but after the schism of 1378 the antipope Clement VII sought the security of the castle. With the departure of the popes the castle passed to the archbishop of Avignon, but it was too large and too expensive to maintain and was used as a source of stone for building work in the village. At the time of the Revolution the buildings were sold off and only the donjon was preserved. During the Second World War an attempt was made to demolish the donjon with dynamite but only the northern half was destroyed; the southern half remained intact.

Almost all the cultivable land is planted with grapevines. The commune is famous for the production of red wine classified as Châteauneuf-du-Pape Appellation d’origine contrôlée which is produced from grapes grown in the commune of Châteauneuf-du-Pape and in portions of four adjoining communes.

Avignon

Avignon is a city in south-eastern France in the department of Vaucluse on the left Avignonbank of the Rhône river. Of the 90,194 inhabitants of the city (as of 2011), about 12,000 live in the ancient town centre enclosed by its medieval ramparts.

Between 1309 and 1377, during the Avignon Papacy, seven successive popes resided in Avignon and in 1348 Pope Clement VI bought the town from Joanna I of Naples. Papal control persisted until 1791 when, during the French Revolution, it became part of France. The town is now the capital of the Vaucluse department and one of the few French cities to have preserved its ramparts.

The historic centre, which includes the Palais des Papes, the cathedral, and the Pont d’Avignon, became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. The medieval monuments and the annual Festival d’Avignon have helped to make the town a major centre for tourism.

The commune has been awarded one flower by the National Council of Towns and Villages in Bloom in the Competition of cities and villages in Bloom.[2]

Arles

Arles 2Arles is a city and commune in the south of France, in the Bouches-du-Rhône
department, of which it is a subprefecture, in the former province of Provence.

A large part of the Camargue is located on the territory of the commune, making it the largest commune in Metropolitan France in terms of territory (though Maripasoula, French Guiana, is much larger). The city has a long history, and was of considerable importance in the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis. The Roman and Romanesque Monuments of Arles were listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1981. The Dutch post-Impressionist painter Vincent van Gogh lived in Arles from 1888 to 1889 and produced over 300 paintings and drawings during his time there. An international photography festival has been held in the city since 1970.

Arles ArenaThe Ligurians were in this area from about 800 BC. Later, Celtic influences have been discovered. The city became an important Phoenician trading port, before being taken by the Romans.

The Romans took the town in 123 BC and expanded it into an important city, with a canal link to the Mediterranean Sea being constructed in 104 BC. However, it struggled to escape the shadow of Massalia (Marseilles) further along the coast.

Its chance came when it sided with Julius Caesar against Pompey, providing military support. Massalia backed Pompey; when Caesar emerged victorious, Massalia was stripped of its possessions, which were transferred to Arelate as a reward. The town was formally established as a colony for veterans of the Roman legion Legio VI Ferrata, which had its base there. Its full title as a colony was Colonia Iulia Paterna Arelatensium Sextanorum, “the ancestral Julian colony of Arles of the soldiers of the Sixth.”

St. Remy du Provence

The village of St. Rémy is beautiful and picturesque, and the old Gallo-Roman interior isSt.Remy de circled by the remnants of the circular 14th-century wall and the protective circle of buildings. Located on the plains at the northern edge of the Alpilles, 20 km south of Avignon, this is where Van Gogh painted Starry Night, Nostradamus was born and Dr Albert Schweitzer was prisoner.

The ancient center has splendid squares, fountains, Medieval buildings and cobblestone streets. Saint Remy is a busy, active village, with a good selection of restaurants and hotels for the traveller. The old town is full of shops of all kinds, especially for Provençal items. Among the shops in the old village are a few with some regional pottery, including some beautiful sunflower plates no doubt influenced by Van Gogh [who lived here].

The road between St. Rémy and the autoroute (at Cavaillon, 17 km to the east) is a scenic drive out of the past: the road is lined by plane trees that are lovely and give beautiful shade during the summer, yet menacing for the imprudent driver.

The most obvious remains of the 14th-century protective wall are the old portes, still in use today as the entrance ways into the ancient center of old Saint Remy. The old center is circled by a ring-road of boulevards, small enough that you can walk around the circumference in 20-30 minutes.

The ancient Porte du Trou (or Portail Trou de l’Orme) is on the northen edge of the old town. Entering here, you would walk down Rue Nostradamus, and find the Nostradamus fountain. At the opposite end of the old town, the Portail Saint-Paul gives entrance from the south, onto Rue de la Commune leading in to the main Place Pelissier where the town hall (mairie) is located. The dolphin fountain from the beginning of the 19th century is located in the shaded square in front of the Mairie. That lovely building is from the 16th century and is on the site of an old convent.

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PRE-TRIP OPPORTUNITYNimes

If anyone is interested in arriving 2 days earlier, we will arrange to stay in Nimes. We will explore Nimes, with the Arena/Amphitheatre, the gardens, the museums. We will also spend a day out in Aigues Mortes, see the Cathedral of Maguelone and its vineyards, St.Maries de la Mer and take a dip in the Mediterranean and see the flamingos and Camargue horses.


Aigues_Mortes_-_TowerFor the 2 days extension, it will be an additional $485 per person double occupancy,
which will include all the internal transportation, accommodations, breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner, entrance to Cathedral of Maguelone and wine tasting, and entrance to Church of Notre Dame at St.Maries de la Mer. John will be joining us for the pre- visit yet not necessarily will be teaching. However , knowing John , we are sure he will be sharing his love for and vast knowledge of Art and ‘perspective’ as we visit these historic cities.

Let us know if you are interested!!Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

 

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Resources

Testimonials from various past global journeys

This retreat was the most amazing experience of my life. I never imagined that I could be loved without pretense or aggression- this realization completely changed my life. Furthermore I made 14 close friends on that trip; I can't imagine life without them. They are my family, really. I gained a true sense of love for the universe. Our retreat was based in a forested area. It was absolutely perfect- we camped together and ate every meal together. All of the workshops taught me something different.
I've actually recommended this sort of retreat to my mom. I believe she would truly benefit from this sort of experience. Everyone deserves to feel this sort of love at least once in their life!
You're awesome, Franco. I miss you already!

Krista

I want to take a moment to thank you again for a wonderful, wonderful time. I felt each place, the people, it was all an amazing feast. Even though I have been to most of these places long ago it felt like I was seeing them for the first time.
I have been continuing to hold onto the joy I felt at seeing the amazing creations in each town and the scenery. It was a treat to see you both do what you do so well. You are masters at creating group cohesion and serving as best one can the needs of a diverse group. You really got it all.

Erica

I can say, with complete honesty, that this retreat in Costa Rica is one of the best things I have ever done. And I have participated in some extra uber spectacular experiences. I have come away a different human being, and thoughts, conversations, words and images from this experience continue to roll over me in waves as I walk through my Life. I have been so utterly moved by the experiences of daily yoga and meditation, that I have committed to making both of those things part of my daily practice. Interestingly enough, when we got home to our small, rural town in North Carolina, a new yoga studio had opened up that had escaped my awareness prior. I have since joined on an unlimited pass, and have only missed one day since being home. Doug and I continue to prioritize meditation in our day as well, utilizing some of the great audios that I purchased from Dr. Joe's selections, and I continue to be able to sink deeper and deeper into the great void, and deeper understanding of myself and how it all works.

Truly life changing. I have already been witness to some enormous changes in myself and how I perceive what have heretofore been challenging situations in my work and with my associates. My refractory periods of heightened emotions are dramatically shortened, and sometimes not even existent! I am beginning to look at myself in the mirror now and the person I see looking back at me is someone I haven't seen in years! It's great to make her re-acquaintance!

Jennifer

Words cannot describe the gratitude I have for you for organizing such a beautiful retreat that truly changed my life forever. Your prompt and courtesy responses to inquiries, attention to detail, and tireless efforts are evident in your presentations, as well as support before, during, and after the retreat. Moreover, the choice of Sugar Beach resort on the beautiful coast of Costa Rica is a testament to your global expertise as the service, meals, accommodation, beach, excursions, and even proximity to the airport and other local spots was first class in every detail. Finally, I cannot emphasize enough how this retreat truly changed my life.
Not only would I strongly recommend doing business with Global Journeys to others, I am actively trying to recruit people to join me for your next adventure
I will never forget this experience, so I graciously thank you so very much from my heart.

Michael

I can't say enough good things about having chosen to go to Costa Rica for our trip with Global Journeys! It was such a relief to have two experienced leaders and teachers with us who knew the country, the retreat center, and the available activities so intimately. When I chose to travel with Franco and Kay and Global Journeys, I had been researching retreat centers and opportunities, and their program was the most comprehensive and easy because they not only guide you and help with promoting the retreat, but they handled questions, concerns, and registrations, making the whole process so easy and seamless for us as the teachers. They helped us determine what we would offer and when, and which local activities and excursions we should do, then put all the plans in motion.

And that is just the logistics.The retreat itself was beyond my wildest imaginings! When we first arrived at the center and stood on the deck to absorb the view, it brought tears to my eyes. Thank you Franco and Kay for creating an amazing adventure. We look forward to our next adventure with you.

Mara

This was the most awesome thing I have ever done. I made good friends, saw tons of wildlife, learned how to surf, ate great food, met great people and feel really grateful for what I have.

John

The Retreat of a lifetime!! What a journey! From the moment we decided to do it, it was the easiest trip we have ever been on and truly the most enjoyable. Every detail was taken care of and considered before I even knew to think about it... from the packing list to the airport pick up, from the hotel staff to the daily events. I walked stress-free through the most amazing week in my life, to date! Because of that, I will highly recommend Global Journeys to others but I will also be looking forward to joining you again.
The sessions were ‘mind-blowing’ to say the least. He has such amazing information to share and his meditations took me to places I did not know existed. I was inspired and motivated to change my life and excited to take some major steps. My life is forever changed because of his work.
Sugar Beach is a little piece of heaven. The setting of a small private resort was so relaxing. The staff was incredible helpful, happy to help at every turn. The beach was gorgeous, the sunsets were nothing short of incredible and the natural setting of the resort made you feel that you were in the middle of nowhere with beautiful people or just for yourself.

Heather

There simply isn't another Costa Rica trip in the current market of eco-adventure trips for the active traveler that matches Franco Marini's Costa Rica Trip package. Franco has put together a package that enables the traveler to enjoy and explore the country on a very intimate level.
Some the opportunities are truly unique to this trip and quite simply won't be found anywhere else! This is a trip that will inspire your teen in ways they may not even realize now. It may be seeing and touching a tree that's over a thousand years old will inspire a future botanist, a future filmmaker, or a future writer. It could be learning about the marine life and wildlife first hand in this part of the world, or visiting the different forests and developing a sense of value for this diverse ecosystem, or overcoming their fears and emotions in some very personal way that will impact your teen, and plant some seed of inspiration. They may simply fall in love with this beautiful country and wish to come back again some day. This is truly a world-class trip at a school-trip cost!

Brenda

The Retreat of a lifetime!! What a journey! From the moment we decided to do it, it was the easiest trip we have ever been on and truly the most enjoyable. Every detail was taken care of and considered before I even knew to think about it... from the packing list to the airport pick up, from the hotel staff to the daily events. I walked stress-free through the most amazing week in my life, to date! Because of that, I will highly recommend Global Journeys to others but I will also be looking forward to joining you again.
The sessions were ‘mind-blowing’ to say the least. He has such amazing information to share and his meditations took me to places I did not know existed. I was inspired and motivated to change my life and excited to take some major steps. My life is forever changed because of his work.
Sugar Beach is a little piece of heaven. The setting of a small private resort was so relaxing. The staff was incredible helpful, happy to help at every turn. The beach was gorgeous, the sunsets were nothing short of incredible and the natural setting of the resort made you feel that you were in the middle of nowhere with beautiful people or just for yourself.

Juanita

I wake up every morning and think of you all. I cannot even express how much I love and miss you. Thank you for such an amazing experience together. Ever since the retreat, I have felt so open and happy and enough, which is such an incredible gift. That was easily one of the best weeks of my life, and continues to make every day wonderful.
Much, much love

Alex

I was completely stunned by degree to which my trip with Global Journeys would change my life. A true before-after moment. I county myself fortunate to have experienced it. I can't wait to live the rest of my life! Thank you Global Journeys!

Chris

To make the decision to take this journey is an accomplishment in itself… but to then dive into a world of the most beautiful surroundings , with beautiful people who share amazing stories is something you will cherish for years to come. Adding different styles of yoga and meditation with one of the best presenters makes it an experience of a lifetime! Thank you for sharing such amazing time in my life .

Jeannene