The town of La Grande-Motte sits along the Mediterranean. All of the buildings were designed by a single architect and convey harmony with the sea and mediterranean sensibilities. I walked around one morning just observing the architecture and sense of theme.
We took the coastal route down the southern end of France. It winded in and out of small fishing villages and switch backed over peaks until we entered Spain. I could easily take a week to explore this region but on this day we were driving to Barcelona. Nonetheless I stopped here just outside of Cerbère which is the last village before entering Spain. Just off camera on the left is a parking space and vista along the side of the road where RVs stop for the night. Not a bad place to stay for the night.
Another shot from a little hidden beach in San Francisco. The only way to get here is to hike down a steep trail. The beach is surrounded by cliffs which gives you a sense of remoteness uncharacteristic of a large city. But then San Francisco is no ordinary city. Because of its geography it could be the most beautiful city in the USA. The only other that I can compare it to is Vancouver about a thousand miles to the North. But it seems the beauty of a city is related to the surrounding geography. If you frame buildings, streets and bridges with great landscapes it becomes more appealing than if you just have a city on a flat plane. Nothing against the Midwest mind you. I better stop before I can’t get my metaphorical foot our of my mouth.
South of Montpellier are swamps in which Flamingos have settled by the thousands. The waters are full of shrimp and other foods preferred by these feathered comedians. There is a highway that runs between Carnon and Palavas and through a swamp where these Flamingos are feeding or sleeping on one leg. This was taken just after sunset one evening as the birds were looking for their final meal before calling it a day.
This little costal town along the French mediterranean has a harbor, restaurants, shops and miles of beaches. It’s no wonder the population grows from eight thousand to one hundred thousand in the summer. It reminds me a little bit of my home in Florida, though only a little. The mediterranean culture and French sensibilities are what make this a unique destination for european vacationers. I was fortunate enough to be here in October when the streets were relatively empty and we could just walk into any restaurant without a wait. For me the experience was indeed unique.
So long Barcelona, it was much too short. I have found you to be most perfect in every way. I am in love with your streets, churches, food and most of all, love of life. But I will be back, for having inhaled you, I will always be in love. So long Barcelona, I will be back.
Yesterday I was inside Casa Batlló which is a home designed by Antoni Gaudi. It is a priceless example of design and architecture and has been designated a world heritage site by UNESCO. This is from one of the hallways on the top level. Every nook and cranny is a study in organic lines, ergonomic utility and otherworldly beauty. To someone such as myself who is inspired by design, this house is perhaps one of the most spell binding I have every laid eyes on.
As compositions go we might say this has no subject, no main actor. Having said that, nothing beats a good sunrise and sometimes we just have to ignore the rules of composition and go with what moves us. In this case, the simplicity of the scene was enough for me. This is an HDR image, I combined four images to balance out the range of light to try and convey what I saw with my eyes. For me, getting up early and standing next to calm water like this is like meditation. It gives me a certain calm that I can carry with me the rest of the day. Calm and simplicity, two things I strive for in some of my images, especially those close to the water. Have a peaceful day my friends.
Yesterday we stopped in Collioure which is a French village on the Mediterranean just north of the border with Spain. It’s a lovely little place with views of the sea and many cafes and shops. There is a cathedral right at the edge of the sea and then extending out is a smaller chapel. Perhaps a place to wait or pray for mariners, I’m not really sure. Nonetheless the clouds were dramatic so I captured this as I walked out from the church to the chapel. Once out there the wind was brisk and you would surely lose anything not held tight, yet back in the village there was only a breeze. A perfect place for an afternoon.
I am always surprised at how many people get up before dawn to see the sunrise. For me I think its understandable because I’m taking photos, but a whole bunch of other folks show up at this ungodly hour, park their cars, and walk out on to the pier, takes some of photos and then just turn around and leave. I’m not sure why I find that so interesting, maybe it’s just the realization that there are others doing the exact same thing as me. That’s hard to believe. I’m not really sure what to make of that, I suppose its a good thing.