Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nîmes it seems, is deemed to be supreme

My wife and I were invited to dinner with good friends. A nice couple from Nîmes. We arrived early and they showed us around their marvelous old town. Operative word 'old'. According to Wikipedia Nîmes had a presence of semi-nomadic cultivators in the period 4000 to 3500 BC. Somewhere around 28 BC Rome realized the semi-nomadic cultivators were not keeping up the place and they were always late with the rent so they were ousted. Rome took over and built some Roman bling. Those Romans , their bling is all over this country.This is the Nîmes Amphitheatre. Very impressive. Like the Colosseo In Rome.
This is the the Maison Carrée

This is the The Jardins de la Fontaine

This the center of town - notice the palm tree, stay with me on this.

This crocodile (it's made of bronze,very life like) is by the Palm tree. . . .

And this is the town coat of arms.

and, as all towns in the South of France there is always great things happening.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

I think I figured out how to post a video.

This is the brass band I mentioned in the previous post. Somewhere in the middle a little boy starts dancing and it's hilarious.

I'm still here, where have I been?

We're still in France. After our trip to Italy we fell into work/life routine and I took a little hiatus from photography. I still love it and I will definitely continue doing it – but I took a little breather. As for

France, it is still beautiful and we’re enjoying ourselves but our time is dwindling. We only have a month and half left and then it will be back to the U.S of A. Are we anxious? Yes, we are. Two years is long time to live outside your country. But we are also sad to be leaving so many French friends. I think this experience has changed me and my way of thinking about the world. We went up to the center of Montpellier last Sunday and just sat at a sidewalk café and watched Europe meander by our little table. My wife had a coke and I had a beer. We might have waved an American flag over our head with that order. As always street musicians were everywhere and a brass band formed around the statue of the three graces. They were good. I will try to post a video.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Another great French Lunch

Les Gourmand.

I had another great French lunch with the good friends I work with.
I had :

Gâteau de foie gras aux éclats de pistaches, réduction de Carthagène et bouquet fraîcheur

Jarreton d’agneau braisé aux aromates, mijoté d’haricot coco à l’ancienne, ails confits

for wine we had :

Le chèvre frais du Pic St Loup

Um, cheese, fromage . . .sorry it wasn't on the menu. Goat cheese I think, very good.

Crème brûlée aux marrons, fleur de thym et brisures de marrons glacés

Monday, January 07, 2008

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Venice Entrance

One thing I noticed about Italy and it's different cities is that they are like an Italian family, all related, but with entirely different personalities. With that said Venice was like the crazy uncle that always had everyone laughing at the dinner table.

Venice - Gondola

The Gondola is symbol of master Venetian craftsmanship. They are built to list to one side so when the gondolier stands to the other side the craft sits straight in the water. Aside from gondolas the city conducted most of it business through these waterways.
One interesting thing I saw was a "mason boat" (my own terminology.) It was a long boat with a cement mixer mounted in the middle. There was cement, sand and gravel on one side with a tender, and the masons worked on the other side. If work needed to be done on the front of a building they pulled up to it and went to work.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Venice - Piazza San Marco

The Piazza San Marco is a beautiful square and the largest square in Venice. It's a must see if your in Venice, pigeons know this as well. It was like playing a game of bird-twister walking across the square. The architecture was incredible to see.

On the otherside of the Piazza was the Piazzetta that opened into the lagoon at the mouth of the Grand Canal. Two tall pillars stood at the waters edge and top of them were statues of Venice's two patron saints Marco and Todaro (see insets.) Between the two columns was the
site of executions. Our guide said all the people you see passing between the columns are tourists . Because of local superstitions no local Venetians will pass through them.
Did I walk between?. . .um, no. Why tempt fate?
As always, click picture for larger view