Garavan district of Menton is renowned for its gentle climate without frosts, which allows gardens to flourish in sub-tropical splendour. Garavan also enjoys a fine view over to Menton Vielle Ville (Menton Old Town) and further to Cap Martin, around which is an enjoyable stroll on the coastal footpath.
The Roquefavour Aqueduct spans the valley of the river Arc near Aix-en-Provence, to bring water to Marseille. Completed in 1847, it is 83m. high, almost twice the height of the Pond du Gard built by the Romans to supply water to Nimes. The Aqueduc de Roquefavour is approachable without negotiating the defences necessary for its more famous relative: there’s no visitor centre or coach parks, not to mention pay booths as it doesn’t get the crowds who come to see the UNESCO World Heritage site spanning the river Gard. But I wasn’t alone, a peloton of friendly club cyclists from the Pays d’Aix, then a rider taking his son out on a motorcycle and sidecar stopped for a chat, he had converted it from a 1980 Moto Guzzi T3 Californian 850cc V-twin.
Next, riding on past fields of poppies to friends for lunch and watching the Grand Prix de France from Le Mans with Frenchman Johann Zarco on pole.
Terminus of the line: one single train all the way through from London St. Pancras to Marseille St. Charles. An early start in London but TGV travel at speeds of up to 300km/hr to arrive in early afternoon sunshine for a view of the Mediterranean from the station forecourt. They serve breakfast and lunch with airline style catering if you want it. But it’s another strike day for the SNCF (French state railways) so the platforms are rather quieter than usual.
JH by JH, May 2018
This photo started as test setup for the GPN portraits pair challenge on a wet Saturday afternoon and has ended up as an infographic.
Three pictures from the glorious sunshine in Brighton & Hove this holiday weekend, scenes from Preston Park Rock Garden and Hove Park.
The wrap party to end all wrap parties at The London Studios. Party time on all three ground floor studio floors: quiet music in Studio 3, “The Soul Jets” played Studio 2 with a disco in Studio 1, “The Palladium of Television” (attrib. John Kaye Cooper). As always, the real chats took place outside, in Artistes’ Reception.
A clear day to return to Kleine Kanzel (1092 m.) in the Hohe Wand naturpark for another hike to enjoy the late morning views of Schneeberg (2076 m.), the easternmost Alp of more than 2000 metres altitude. Wide variety of fresh greens in the Wiener Wald forest with scarcely a sign of human habitation. The wildlife is good too: we heard many wild birds and saw, close to, a chamois, browsing in the forest. Once aware of us, the chamois ran off over the rocky precipices. Then a real fresh Wienerschitzel with a mixed salad, leaves over a base of cucumber and dill salad, fresh sauerkraut, potato salad and grated carrots; coffee and final sachertorte before the trip to Vienna airport.
The timing and routing of the flight home to London made the sunset last most of the flight before the decent to London through the thick clouds.
View from the same place but much later in the day so against the sun: Hohe Wand
Gumpoldskirchen is small town to the south west of Vienna; the light soil at the foot of the limestone Anniger mountain (675 m.) of the Wiener Wald, but above the dark red soil of alluvial plain, has been yielding quality wines since Roman times. Production today is by a number of relatively small vineyards with varietals that are distinctive from the ubiquitous (in Austria) Grüner Veltliner. Austrian vine varietals are different and distinct from the French varietals largely because of the longstanding political separation of the Austro-Hungarian Hapsburg Empire and the Burgundian kings, Napoleonic Empire and French Republic and, before that, the Papal Schism.
Walking around the vineyards, now in late April beginning to come in to leaf, it is striking how much other vegetation is tolerated. There are dandelions in flower and going to seed and small “weeds” with white flowers. I’m guessing these are tolerated for a combination of reasons including protecting the soil against erosion and maintaining the soil chemistry. The vines seem to be mostly quite young. Note the red tips of the vines in one photo and the gradient at the top of the vineyard near Schloss Gumpoldskirchen, now a hotel.
Vienna’s Golden Hall, the Musikverein, is renowned as one of the world’s best concert acoustics. It’s a shoe-box design with a raised and raked stage, hard plaster walls with much detail, both windows and podiums but also smaller cameos and so much ornamentation, much of it gold. The seating has wooden backs and isn’t stunningly plush. A similar architectural design to the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam and quite different to a modern concert hall designed on acoustic principles.
We’ve enjoyed the New Year’s Day concerts via the relay on Eurovision, initially as radio, sometimes as high definition television with surround sound, although this seems to be no longer available to the BBC. But the question is what would an orchestra actually sound like to a listener seated in the hall. No matter the only concert available on my schedule is a tourist programme, not being a full on concert meant it was possible to obtain reasonable seats.