I'm lucky enough to travel a lot but I also aim to understand a place in some depth. So I like to find out about the local history, sociology, wildlife and local arts. I prepare for a trip by looking up photos of the famous sights, they're usually a good guide both about the local visual interest and also a warning of what has already been done or over-done.
I try to use the tools of modern photojournalism and photography to communicate how I feel about a place. You’ll see that I have used Portrait, Street, Interior, Historical, Abstract, Landscape, Historical, Wildlife, Phone-camera and Selfie genres at different times for specific effects.
Lille is 1088km from Marseille by autoroute plus a toll charge of about 90€. We decided on to drive north in our hire car instead of taking the TGV as we had booked. This unfortunately resulted in not meeting with our friends in the AMA bike club at the annual general meeting in Rasteau near Avignon.
Postcard from St Tropez - October 2010
We're enjoying a few days in St Tropez, the "Jewel of the French Riviera". But unlike "La Cage Aux Folles" we've been economical and certainly not enjoying "champagne from now until the Finale...". Anyhow, the permissive days of the Sixties have gone and the "Nearly Isle" (la Presqu'ile de St Tropez) now has noise control laws which the Gendarmes enforce diligently.
Well here I am waking up in London on Saturday morning... and writing in English: But anyhow I have a pleasant looking forecast for here rather than a grey then rain one for Marseille.
We walked around to Marseille Vieux Port (old Port) around the Corniche Kennedy, from the statue of Michelangelo’s David and Pointe Rouge.
It was the last day of our Marseille holiday, the Sunday of the English late summer bank holiday. The sun was shining but it was neither too hot nor was there too much wind. Everyone seemed to be out, either on the beaches in the Mediterranean or just enjoying the pleasant end-of-season sunshine. The sort of weather one dreams of for the Mediterranean: not too hot, fresh overnight and not a strong wind. Great to be there to enjoy it.
Another train ride out from Marseille but from Blancarde station which still retains much of it's charm from the glory of the days of the Paris-Lyon-Marseille (PLM) era.
The local TER train was packed with trippers, many of whom also got off at Bandol. The town was packed, Saturday was market day, and also changeover day for the hired boats and lodgings. There's a boulevard lined with palm trees and flowers along the side of the port, then a line of restauarnts. These were packed too so we did the picnic thing - the French now do that too, perhaps a sign of the times, "la crise".
Wandering around, the town is a mixture of very expensive boats at a Provencal port and some kiss-me-quick restaurants in the street one row back from the boulevard, anmd a casino at the far end of the boulevard. But it's not St Tropez, although some visitors may like to think it is, - particularly the Parisians. The risqué art is part of the charm, although it's one of the places where there are signs and fashion police telling the visitors to stay clothed.
Our trip back was marred by a 2½ hour delay on the train back, because of a fire between Bandol and Toulon, which closed the line.