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Horses of the Pyrénées

The Mérens, Cheval de Mérens or Caballo de Merens, still occasionally referred to by the older name of Ariégeois pony, is a small, rustic horse native to the Pyrenees and Ariégeois mountains of southern France, where the Ariège River flows, and northern Spain, near Andorra.

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Monaco Fiasco

I swear it’s the last time i ever go to Monaco.

I had a mini panic attack driving through this grotesque concrete jungle on its minuscule promontory for the mega wealthy of our planet.

A whopping 53,000 euros per square metre for property in Monte Carlo!

Why?

Oh right…low taxes…and a great marina for the gigantic yatch..

Really?!?

I did not even want to stop ! just get me outta here!

V.O

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Pink Lotus

The most important lotus, the true lotus of Buddha, is depicted as pink in color.
Stemming from this title, the pink lotus represents the history and essence of Buddha.

My pond has reached enlightenment…..

For further reading on the symbolism of the LOTUS please go to : Abundance of Wisdom

Happy photography!

V.O

Featured

Calanques de Marseille-Cassis

Port Miou
Calanque Port Pin
Calanque d’En Vau
Calanque d’En Vau
Calanque d’En Vau
Panoramic point
A garden at the top of entrance of Calanque d’en Vau
An abandoned stone cottage and its lilies
View of the Mediterranée from the cottage, perfect for pause.
Easy hike to Port Pin Calanque
Moderate to difficult from Port Pin to D’en Vau…gets tougher and tougher in climbs and conditions of track.

Moderate to difficult hike for these two calanques in particular.

Magic all the way.

We camped nearby in a natural setting.

The park is regulating the number of visitors to protect the environment..Hourah!

for Landscape Photography and great hiking..can’t go wrong here.

V.O

Website here

Gordolasque Valley, Alpes

The Valley of Marvels

Located in the Mercantour National Park in the Alpes Maritimes department.

Quite a feat along the windy roads to get there with a worthwhile result.

The hike is splendid, no other words.

These are the summer views..i can just imagine in winter when these peaks are covered in snow.

It is called the valley of marvels..La Vallée des Merveilles..No contradiction here.

Magical Valley of the Gordolasque river
Auberge for well deserved coffee after a splendid hike

Google Advice here

Happy trails!

V.O

Quirky Paris (1)

I miss Paris so much! it’s been 18 months since my last visit…Yes the COVID.

It was a twice a year trip this last decade since moving to the south of France.

From home (Ariège) it’s a 4 hour high speed comfort plus train ride to the centre of my favourite city for walking, exploring, eating, lazying..and just being Parisian.

Quirky Paris Series will begin with the last neighbourhood of the snail shaped centre of the city, the 20th Arrondissement, home of the Pere Lachaise Cemetary, one of the quirkiest sites in the world and “the Campagne à Paris” a quirky country village.

Pére Lachaise Cimetiére

Tomb of Oscar Wilde full of kisses
A crooked chair
Cross-tree
Obelisque
Pyramid
Macabre on another level

Homage to Auschwitz

And so many more: https://www.paris.fr/equipements/cimetiere-du-pere-lachaise-4080

A Country Village

“La Campagne à Paris” in the 20th Arrondissement is a housing development dating from the 1920’s for the working class.

Cobbled streets and Country style bungalows with gardens.

Now it is for the rich..from 10,000 euros per square metre!

Tiny cobbled alley

Walk Paris to dicover the quirky side.

V.O

The “French Tuscany”

Tuscany and Provence seem to be the only regions of international renown for their sunflower and lavender fields in stunning rural landscapes.

However, there exists a small region in the plains of the Pyrénées Ariègeoises with a striking ressemblance to its famous neighbours and locally nicknamed as “The Secret French Tuscany”.

Head on the National roads towards the Pyrénées from Carcassonne to Mirepoix for a few kms and Boom!

Views from Fanjeaux
Alignment
Bale of Hay
Pyrenees covered by clouds
The Rolling Hills and Conifers
Through the Plane Trees

V.O

Quirky London!

Quirky series..aaah London ranks high on the “Quirk scale”.

let’s start with the red double decker buses
Ubiquitous black cabby even in the middle of parks
Phallic architecture
Iconic Telephone booth
The authentic “British Arms” Bar and ubiquitous black cabby
The original mad hatter
Gigantic ship in bottle
Dragon..Why?
Sphinx in Park…little red double decker in the background
Colourful little gazebo on a grim day
essential in London..
Nasty baboons at the Tower of London..yikes
Cool fashion
Great british humour
The Master and the Master in front of National Gallery

V.O

Quirky Tour de France

The quirky silly nonsense is built into the event.

“La Caravane” is the Big crowd drawing parade of advertisers who throw free gifts at supporters and play loud french party music ..from the disco era of course..Donna Summer etc..and the latest rave music…Cacophony ensured!

Lets get the party going and cheer the cyclists on people!!!

Make sure to stand next to these catalans and the girls and boys will smile straight into your lens and throw you gifts..

(little trick from experienced photographer and fan of “le Tour”)

These will do..Now come to camera…
great street photography here!
What a job!
what a job!
Lollypop colours of “Le Tour”

Million dollar show..Highest rating international TV sports event…yep i get it..

July 11 2021, Mont Louis, Pyrénées Orientales. etape 15 :Ceret-Andorre

V.O

The Tour de France in the backyard

I was swallowed up by the Peloton today up the road in the next village..every year it is a ritual to photograph this awesome event!

This year i was so lucky to be on a bridge parapet and within touching distance from my favs.

“It felt like being shaken inside an M&M box!” lol

The leader at that point in time i feel pretty safe on my parapet wall…
The breakaway group
OMG the peloton is soooo big!!!! retreat behind the parapet!
Peloton leader looking straight at my cam..Hello!!!
now i am getting swallowed up in this energy!!!
here comes yellow jersey..Pogacar!! i just shoot and shoot completely swept up in the wind and buzz!
YELLOW and GREEN in same shot!!! Pogacar and Cavendish! i am now lost inside this whirl of skinny arms..just skinny arms buzzing by!
then it’s over..
Down my road….

Yikes i Love the tour!

Caudeval (Aude/Ariège etape 10 july 2021 Carcassonne-Quillan)

V.O

Mont St Michel

In Normandie, rising above the temperamental tides and famished quicksands, Mont St Michel has dominated the bay since Medieval times. Millions of christian pilgrims and tourists have since been drawn to visit this surreal and powerful site.

Mont St Michel is a Mass tourism Site so pick your time of year carefully if like me you are crowd phobic.

We went by camping car and there are tons of parking sites. As a first timer to the Mont you may want to spend the night. The visit requires a full day..maybe 2 for passionados.

Braving the quicksands

Here is the website

This is a bit of #travelspam as i was not there at the right time of day for the right light for photography..maybe next time..again..and again…i dont mind going back every few years..Normandy is stunning!!!

V.O

Andorra Summer

The Tour de France is going through Andorra next week!

Soldeu is a winter sports world championship station in winter and in summer a hiking paradise and one of the highest golf clubs on the planet..Jetsetters and “beautiful” people love Andorra..well what’s not to love, really?!

Glorious Pyrénées in Summer
The Club in Soldeu
Golf on top of the world
awesome views of the Pyrénées
Border town to France…Pas de La Case
Through the long tunnel between the two countries…

Magnificent Andorra!

V.O

London’s battle of the Highest Rises

Winner is the most omnipresent….

I just went through my London Skyline shots and had a laugh at the visible battle of cocks in London..gotta love it!

but seriously London’s skyline is awesome : look here.

Players: The Walkie-Talkie, The Shard, The Gherkin.

The Walkie Talkie
The Shard
The Gherkin

The Gherkin

Behind Tower of London..nice.
In the view from the Park..behind the pointy fence ..ok not bad
Holds its own in this view.

The Shard

From the Thames at sunset…YIKES!
From the Tower of London
point upwards..see the cranes?

The Walkie-Talkie

Dominating this downtown area
even sneaking in here behind the Tower of London
and under here
Classic sneak
OOOH!! the two of them battling it out now…

Dont worry guys you’re all wonderful!

more London please…

V.O

Quirky Tuscany

The weird stuff you see in the back streets …and the even weirder stuff silly people do on holiday and what silly commerçants do to please those silly people..it’s a synergy…

He is alive and became an artist in the end…
Most of us are stuck here though..

Freaky Mannequins

No?
Still spooky no matter what age..so scared to lie!!!
Are you trying to sell me or scare me???

Sillyness….

some kind of didge but not….
pushing the Pisa Tower for Instagram….
bizzarre sight
More ducklips honey and push that tower like you mean it..
Phoning the sunset

The autos..

It is not the size that counts..but if you can park it..

Sports car or Mini?
too cute
two too cute
three too cute

Bicycles

Bicycle art
Bicycle art goth

Street Art ..literally

no comment
This is one of the treasures of the world..a fresque in a church..MAGNIFICENT..street art at a whole other level..

Bizarre statues

Definitely not David…This epicurian on his turtle is in the Grotto garden
scary angel
That damn splitter
horror
when the king has you by the…
Big metal hand and man in perfect alignment..Mr Dali would love it..
Another Charlie but footless and in metal
Genuflecting on a tomb
She’s been waiting for her moped mechanic… in an open garage
one statue wrapping another in an open garage ready for container..
an amphibian ?

The menus for the touristas..(they are not Davids)

Dante’s tomb

David (the fake one)

Shell house
no age for appreciating art..do you see the anarchia?
the nun
treasure
the best part…

V.O

Nothing like a Rainforest…

to cool down in Summer…

New Caledonia..Mont Koghi Tropical Forest where i spent a lot of my early childhood years with my grandparents who lived there..The brilliant red is from the iron ore which is omnipresent on the island.

Hubby hiking up ahead of me

V.O

The Rosetta Stone in London

The British Museum series

Egyptian Section
Moi ticking off a lifelong bucketlist goal reflected in the glass vitrine of the Rosetta Stone..Shivers up the spine!
The heiroglyphs above and the Greek letters below allowing Champollion to translate Egyptian Alphabet…amazing.
Golden light just then…it’s a sign!!!
Spooky profile behind him..
Fantastic light on the granite Tut.

More more London please…

V.O

Psychedelia in Lima, Peru

Scroll as I stroll through the ecclectic mix of architecture from Roccocco, Colonial Renaissance to Art Deco and everything in between. Bright, colourful, an outstanding effort from Lima City in the guardianship and exhibition of its long, rich and glorious history.

Jiron Huallaga Building: Crazy tile patterns and Ochre columns all around the Plaza de Armas
Jiron Huallaga and one of the magnificent “Balconies of Lima
Plaza de Armas
Around the corner, Roccocco Art Nouveau
and its neighbour
a block away this magnificent Art Deco Jewel!
look up to this exquisite balcony
and this one as well as the friendly Peruana
one more..check out the detail…
now back to Art Déco splendour..it’s Mac Donalds!
Let’s follow these guys a bit…
to this church..eccentric mix of styles here…
around the block and wow a entire street block of Art Nouveau!
It’s all there. wrought iron balconies, round towers and wall decor…
Exquisite detail in Plaster and mosaic tiling and the metal door to die for!
Art Déco and street merchant

Blues

This one is a favourite..Balconies and that gorgeous Azul Blue with white Roccocco Plaster
Simply stunning colours and contrasts
Check out the corner wrapping of the balcony..
The dome like the cherry on the cake..no limits to the extravaganza..
How’s this contrast!
even in the omnipresent fog the blue comes out…

Reds

A deep almost fuscia red..amazing sight.
Coral red and flags
Awesome deep Orange red
Great contrasts with the white
the kids weree not paid to wear red i swear…

Mustards

Mustard and white
More Mustard and white
So Mustard, Burgandy, White, Anthracite and bright orange..it works..

Peachy

Peach and Anthracite Art Déco
Peach Art Nouveau
Peach Roccocco
A Peach Roccocco Mall
So much going on here in this mall..where to look?

Weird Street Shots

bit of weird street photography
mmm.which poster should i get to bring with me back to 1982?

Psychedelia Tours..free of charge..just wander the streets in El Centro.

V.O