Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Chapter 26ix: Paris - City of Light

Paris by night? If only I had had my camera with us after dark to capture more of the City of Light. 

I have only a few after-dark, nocturnal photos to share. But first, two more favourites.

Palais de Justice

Paris in the Marais in the Rain

The view from the Montparnasse Tower is one of the best in Paris - by day and by night. Buy the one-day ticket to the top. That way you can shoot during the day, then return way before sunset and the city lights. 

Gare de Montparnasse

If you want to do some nocturnal photography, get there well before the magic hour to set up your tripod. There is competition for space AND beware of the gapers and the rude pushers and shovers with their selfies.

and then there was Bastille Day

I set up on the right bank of the Seine
right across from Musée d'Orsay

There were much more fireworks to be seen at the Champs de Mars, however, I was not prepared to deal with the crowds. With my telephoto lens, I still had a great spot!

It has been fun working on this blog, and wonderful to stay in touch with readers through your encouraging comments.


And now it is time for home once again. 
The place that is the most special of all!
N'est-ce pas?

Monday, July 17, 2017

Chapter 25ive: Paris Impressions

Every photo in FRANCE ONCE AGAIN has been more or less randomly captured, yet carefully selected and prepared for posting in this blog. Each one has a special meaning for us. Some hang on our wall at home in pride of place so that we can return to Paris anytime—just by looking at them.

east entrance to Passage Grand Cerf, 2nd Arrondissement

The text, my words in the blog, has also casually come to mind, triggered by the pictures, then woven together into little stories. This rather Yin Yang sort of process has been a fun creative experience.

west entrance to Passage Grand Cerf
Now, as we wind down nearly half a year away, it is time to bring this legacy project to a close. But how does one really close on Paris? I am going to dodge that bullet by admitting that I think I am now tongue-tied. After all, what could I possibly add to what has already been said and shown about Paris, one of the world's most magnificent cities, with all its beauty and grandeur, its history and culture, its well-mannered and friendly people, and of course, its big city noise and summer crowding?

Ç'est ça! (That's it!), as my good friend Yves might say to capture a moment like this. I can, however, offer one word that packs an awful lot of meaning for us. The word is, in capital letters, INSPIRING.

domed ceiling of Galleries Lafayette, 9th Arrondissement

Each of the photos in these final two chapters is an image that communicates something special about our experience of this place.

9th Arrondisement

For all its old stone buildings, sculptures and monuments, Paris is also a city of colour.

firehall on Canal St Martin, 11th Arrondissement

Parc Vincennes, 20th Arrondissement

Galerie Vivienne, 8th Arrondissement

Promenade Plantes, 12th Arrondissement

The Promenade Plantes is an elevated walkway that runs east from Place Bastille for a few kilometres.

12th Arrondissement
It is a very refreshing walk for many reasons, not the least of which is that you will find few tourists there. 

Also, it is clean, it is a park; it is a human-loving place for infants to the aged, for the disabled to the athletic. There is social housing and high-end real estate along the pedway.

 2nd Arrondissement

Saint Eustache Cathedral, 2nd Arrondissement

Musée d'Orsay, 6th Arrondissement
The Musée d'Orsay is the place to see the work of the Impressionists.

The old train building itself is another of Paris' examples of architectural grandeur.

Arrange lunch here, if you can spare the euros.

Sacre-Couer as seen through the eastern clock at Musée d'Orsay

Sacre-Couer, 18th Arrondissement

Sacre-Couer is seen much closer up in Montmartre. 

The best of the big world cities are walking cities. There is a lot to see in Montmartre, especially the old upper village. Be prepared for some mega-walking. 

We recommend approaching the top from the side streets to the west and then taking the knee-numbing steps down after that. There is also a funicular.

The church was a disappointment inside. 

 18th Arrondissement
   Place des Vosges

The Church of Saint-Jean-de-Mont-Martre is
Paris' Art Nouveau church.

   4th Arrondissement

What was the waiter looking at on his smartphone?  I zoomed in to see if I could read his lips, then lowered the camera when he began to walk away.  Did his reflection move with him?

9th Arrondissement

Lunch on the rooftop of Gallery Printemps. You can take your own sandwich or baguette up there and enjoy the view for no charge.

I think Joanne was laughing with me, not at me.

This is the penultimate chapter of the blog.
One more.

For more travel and other photography visit my website 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Chapter 24our: Mosaic of Southwest Norway

Viking swords at Hafrsfjord

Norway is a land of beauty—rugged and rough, colourful and charming, friendly and clean.

The country is shaped like a long crooked Troll finger, pointing from its knuckle above the Arctic Circle to its tip which is about the same latitude as the north of Scotland.

This blog chapter is simply a mosaic of images around the southwest coast of Norway in the vicinity of Stavanger, up and down a few fjords.



Jib set at Tungenes


The Norwegian flag is always flying somewhere. This pennant is called a vimpel. It's always hoisted at the summer cottage, a hytte, probably to say, "We are here now."


Stavanger Harbour

fast ferry

fart, in Norwegian means "speed"

traditional crab traps

dried, salted codfish (an acquired taste)

The following three photos are at Janken's and Otto's 
summer home in Tysvaer.

many Norwegian homes have a name

old Stavanger

Stavanger has more old wood houses than any other city in Europe. Some of them are over half a century old—a testimony to craftsmanship and maintenance.


Aunt Emma's House for Seniors

I've seen longer words than this in Norway.

On or about July 4, 2017, the temperature in Los Angeles was about 112 F. On the same day in Stavanger, it was less than half that. The wind was cool, and the air was so clear a good eye could see the pine needles on a tree from a great distance. 

In some parts of L.A. that day, from the same distance, the palm tree fronds were fuzzy from the smog. Which would you choose?

Q: What's the story in this picture below?

the Hot Dog Man

1. The guy at the bank machine is withdrawing money to buy a dog? Yes. They were Norwegian prices.

2. Hot Dog Man is a Swede
No. The yellow and blue (Swedish flag colour) of the hot dog cart umbrella is just a gimmick to catch the locals' attention.

3. My dog was crunchy because one of the Hot Dog Man's missing fingers was in the bun? 
No, it was the raw onions that were nice and crunchy. I did not want to bring up the subject of his fingers. He seemed happy enough without them. He did have an extra-long thumb.

4. We're wearing such great smiles because, after a lot of the usual lost-in-translation banter, we learned that we're brothers from different mothers? 

... all for now ...

For more travel and other photography visit my website