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Friday, November 26, 2010

Back to North Florida

Here is my granddaughter on Thanksgiving as we went on a beach walk after our vegan feast.

Last picture in Provence. Marseilles station.

This was my last shot this year in France and is the last one I will post in the Provence section for 2010. There will be more food shots and little camera shots that I'll throw in later, but this ends the block of French pictures.

I'll now return to North Florida pictures until next year!

For those of you just starting this blog, I humbly suggest that you go way down to the September pictures, many pages below here and work your way back, if you want a chronological journey. Just go to the column on the right and click the September 2010 category and you'll be at the beginning. Otherwise, enjoy Provence!

Brasserie Aquitaine, Marseilles

I think that this bistro is featured in every film shot in Marseilles. Lovely facade, but it looks a bit touristy.

Solitary diner.

We stopped for lunch at a pizza joint that had broken ovens. We had a good meal despite really being in the mood for pizza.

This woman was enjoying a leisurely lunch at the next table and seemed to be very happy to be alone.

Blue boats.

My daily cliche shot.

Drying nets, Marseilles.

Base of the old fort, Marseilles

As you would expect, there are a lot of North Africans, Algerians and Moroccans in Marseilles. It is a stew of different peoples who have lived here for a long time.

So it is a strange sight to see Muslim dress right around the corner from some friends with beers. This woman was feeding a solitary pigeon.

Small boat leaving the Harbor.

Young lovers, Marseilles pier.

Janie and I on the pier in Marseilles.

Friends

It isn't only in America that a couple of friends like to take the afternoon off, go to the shore, cast for fish and try to put a small dent in the surplus of beer in their area.

Directional light Marseille.

Here is another pilot boat entering the ship basin past the green marker light.

I remember my father, an expert and experienced sailor on L.I. sound and the onshore Atlantic, telling me to remember Red Right Returning when approaching a harbor entrance. The red light is across the way, on an entering ship's left, so I'm glad I was ashore for this trip.

Fishing.

There are a lot of little groups of friends fishing from the huge cement pier that surrounds the harbor.

Cruise ship, Marseilles

We watched the whole process of this giant ship being untied and guided out to the mouth of the harbor. It only took about 20 minutes.

A local man was so excited about the process that he chose me to explain it to in a VERY heavy Marseillaise accent. Strangely enough I started to relax and understood most of what he was telling me.

Marseilles Harbor

The entrance is unchanged since.....well, forever.

Moored rental sailboats, Marseilles

There were a lot of boats for rent in Marseilles. I didn't trust my boating skills, 44 years removed, to rent one.

Marseilles Metro

Marseilles is a very old city. It's buildings reflect the French love of tradition. Their facades are the same as they were in the 19th century.

And in the middle of this is a fleet of Star Wars Metro buses, jarring visually.

Marseilles train/bus station.

These are the lovely steps leading to our bus back to the airport.

Leaving Marseilles

This is the last shot I took in "real" France. From here we got back on the bus and put ourselves in the hands of the Pullman Hotel and were back in the business traveler world. Efficient, but lacking in charm.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Marseille

Here is the view as you descend from the bus station into Marseilles.

We left Saignon and drove to the airport and checked into our hotel. Then we dropped off our rental cars and took a shuttle bus in to town.

Last look down from Saignon 2010

Rusty gate for the last time in 2010, Saignon

And here is the last shot of my favorite little gate for this visit.

Our fig tree.

This is the tree that provided us with our daily snack as we headed back up to Saignon.

It seemed bigger when we were there.

Tractor mowing lavender field, Saignon

This was on our last day this year. We took our usual loop walk and were treated to the sight of this farmer mowing between his rows of Lavender. The attachment mowed a perfect row, without touching the lavender.

Abbey, Saignon

This is a deconsecrated Abbaye down the hill from Saignon. It is now used for wedding receptions and parties of all kinds.

There was a wedding reception there every weekend we were in Saignon, and sometimes two going on at once.

The grounds are immaculate. The French have developed power tools that really shave foliage so that it looks smooth. We watched one day as a hedge on the way down to Apt was squared off, using levels, stringline and a lot of very careful work with one of those tools.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Afternoon rest, Saignon

Our late afternoon contact with the world (and a glass of wine or beer or Orangina) that prepared us for the rigor of choosing where to eat dinner that evening.

Berries, Saignon

These berries were greenish when we got to Saignon. By the time we left they were bright orange. I believe that by late October they are red. The birds love them.

Water weeds, Saignon

I have only seen these weeds in one place in Provence. They are under a bridge on our walk. Usually it is quite wet here, but this visit we were in the middle of a dry spell and the looked a bit dried out. They are very graceful.

Lombardy poplar, Saignon

On our circular walk we went by these trees. They are the largest Lombardy poplars I have ever seen, in girth. These have been pruned heavily, but the bases of the trunks were huge.

Field of weeds, Saignon

Saignon

Here is Christine admiring a friend's dog during the afternoon lull.

Monument, Saignon

This is dedicated to all of the sons of Saignon who gave their lives for France. I assume that the broken off column is on purpose.

Large cedar, Saignon walk.

I had to try to get a shot that would show how huge this tree was. The path had to curl around it.

The little house.

Here is a good look at the little house on our walk in the woods above Saignon. This was our second walk and was meant to be longer and more ambitious.

As often happens, the path only went about 300 yards further and ended on someone's property. We stopped at the house on our way back.

Little house above the valley, Saignon.

Here we are, next to the little house on our Saignon walk.

As you can see, I have made a superior walking stick. Harvey's was prone to splintering.

View from the little house, Saignon.

In the square, Saignon.

A nice little terras across from the Auberge.

Shocking news from home.

It's always sad to see Red Sox fans get the news that the playoffs are a spectator event......once again.

Last crepe, Apt

As our days dwindled down, we revisited our favorite places to cement our memories. These crepes lived up to our first 6 visits.

Graffiti in Apt

It's nice to see a bit of whimsy in graffiti, instead of the usual derivative gang-related junk.

Graffiti in Apt

Stone graffiti, Apt

Along with the usual urban graffiti, as seen in the above two posts, there are a lot of older equivalents. On the side of the cathedral there are little faces and carvings at the bottom of carved columns.

I think the carver was just having fun, but I am equally sure they were meant to serve a purpose, like gargoyles.

The next three posts were all within ten feet of this one.

Stone graffiti 2, Apt

Stone graffiti 3, Apt

Stone graffiti 4, Apt

Shopping, Apt

Downtown, Apt

Here is a daytime scene in Apt. Ahhh, the morning stop for coffee, I miss it.

The day of Delia.

Our granddaughter has nicknamed Janie as Shrimp. We were walking in Apt and this was the first of three things that she has brought to our lives.

Crevetors is not a French word, but crevette is the French for Prawn (shrimp).

Bobos

My granddaughter's nickname for me is Bo-Bo. This sign translates as "To open in case of bobos"

Must be the French for boo-boo.