Saturday, March 29, 2008

Paris Revisited

One of the reasons for my love of Paris is that it has so many facets. It is a living entity that changes its nature from hour to hour and section to section . At times it is vibrant with life and, at other times, quiet and breathtaking. I feel that I could spend years exploring the city and not become bored. In the accompanying photos I have tried to capture a feeling for the quieter aspects of Paris. The people have been excluded from the scenes so that the city can speak for itself. I hope that what I have presented has done some justice to the city.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Rural Southern France in Fall

This may be naive of me, but I am always amazed at the vast, unsettled places of Europe. As a native of North America, I have had this mental image of long-inhabited Europe as a densely populated region of the world. Obviously both settlement patterns and historical occurrences (natural and man-made) have made this far from a true vision. I have enjoyed exploring the reality of rural Europe and correcting my mental image of it in the process.

Exploring rural France was scenic and interesting to me. The traveler must, however, be forewarned and prepared. From 2 PM to 4 PM all businesses close. To the hungry traveler, that means restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, and the odd super market have locked doors and lights off during that two hour period. As one who repeatedly learned the hard way (I'm sort of a slow learner/victim of circumstances at times), my advice is to travel with a bit of food and drink just on the off chance that your arrival at the town or village is delayed by stops to explore or take unplanned photos. It would be a shame to miss sights because of a driving hunger that needed to be satisfied. It is also difficult to enjoy the sights of a town as your stomach growls for two hours. In fact, it gives you "a bit of an attitude". If you think that these statements stem from experience, .............