2009-11 (Nov 09)

Pictures of the Day

30 November 2009

iceroof.JPG
Frost or no frost?
The house on the left is a gite (Bed and Breakfast) so their fireplaces are burning all the time. The house on the right is not occupied.

29 November 2009

odd1.JPG
The odd one out

28 November 2009

Tende, France
art1.JPG
The facade of a house is like a blank canvas.  The artist-owner of this one has a very creative mind.

Autumn in the valley

autumn.JPG

autumn3.JPG

fire.JPG

It’s not a toy, it’s not an airshow.  It’s a helicopter dropping bagloads of water into a brewing forest fire in Tende

ruelle.JPG

Through the back door

26 November 2009

The ladies of Avignon

avfashion.JPG

avfashion2.JPG

avfashion3.JPG

After driving some 10 hours to home, we stopped in Avignon to spend the night and, to do some exploring.  I have always dreamed of going to this medieval town particularly in July so I could experience the Theatre Festival which is renowned the world over.

 gastro.JPG

French gastronomy in French soil is still affordable.  Try eating this in London or New York and it will cost you a fortune.

window.JPG

Not only a city of culture, it is also of art.

bridge3.JPG

The bridge that made Avignon famous – the 15th century Pont d’Avignon or Saint Benezet bridge.

25 November 2009

funeral.JPG
Our ferry back to France departs in 5 hours’ time so we had a chance to do a bit of exploring the city of Dover. Stumbling upon this establishment is a good start.

fish1.JPG
We won’t leave the UK without trying (again) their culinary tradition: fish and chips

ashtray.JPG
On the ferry boat back to France, I noticed this big bucket size containers on top of the deck tables. What are they? Peering closer, I figured out that they are ash trays.

24 November 2009

Back to East England

brocante.JPG
They also sell chicken coops in antique shops, that is, if you don’t mind them used.

apples.JPG

That would make a lot of apple tarts, that is, if someone is interested to pick them

flint.JPG

Flint stones are indigenous in East Anglia that they are commonly used as walls in place of bricks

23 November 2009

greyday.JPG
This is the scene for the 3 days we were in Wales. Glad I brought my umbrella!

beer.JPG

In Wales, you don’t see a still plant or tree.  They are always swaying in different directions.

22 November 2009

amroth.JPG
Amroth Beach

costume1.JPG
They wear clothing like this, all year round, that it is becoming the national costume.

quartz.JPG

We saw a proliferation of these white stuff encrusted rocks on the beach.  This is the common quartz used in making watches and jewellery.

21 November 2009

Wales

saundersfoot.JPG

The coastal community of Saundersfoot, Western Wales

waves.JPG

Surfing is a popular sport in Welsh beaches

runner.JPG
Rain or wind, nothing will stop me from running, says this Welshman

clone.JPG
The clone errr…terrace houses of Tenby in Wales

20 November 2009

The drive to Wales

Great Britain is made up of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. I’ve been to the first two. Today, I will be stepping on the third’s territory for the first time. If you are not confused yet, I am simply referring to Wales.

Too bad, I saw Wales when the weather was bad. But if I will analyze all of H’s tales of his childhood excursions in Wales, I come to the conclusion that the bad weather forms part of the country’s natural landscape.

severn.JPG

The Severn Bridge which connects England and Wales.   Our car was charged £5.40 for going into Wales, but free on our way out.

After driving 4 hours from east of England where we originated,  we decided to stop for a much-needed knee-stretching. Of course, we made sure it is in Wales territory. We wanted to have a feel of how this titlesake of Charles, the Prince of Wales, is like.

moss.JPG
Moss
Moss grows in moist environment. The picture above is the main road to a business park. Just goes to show that the sun doesn’t shine here.

language.JPG
Although the Welsh speak English, they have their own language.

language2.JPG

A language that has no resemblance to English at all. 

19 November 2009

Took the ferry boat from Dunkerque (France) to Dover (UK) and despite the inclement weather which tilted the boat endlessly during the two-hour crossing, we arrived in the UK in three pieces:  H, myself and the car.

ferry.JPG
Taken from the boat while leaving the port of Dunkerque

ferry2.JPG
The boat transports more lorries (trucks) than cars, hence, a special deck is reserved for truckdrivers.

a_ferry1.JPG

Gambling machines have become part of the British leisure retailing landscape.  You see them in shopping centers, inside passenger boats (like the picture above), in pubs and in leisure centers. 

road.JPG
A UK motorway at rush hour traffic

road2.JPG

a_driving2.JPG
Stopping at a UK motorway service stop, your first impression is the many noticeboards on every single standing pole or tree you can imagine.  (Red arrows pointing to these notices)

b_driving2.JPG
Oooppss… thanks for reminding me!

uksigns2.JPG
Another noticeboard…

uksigns3.JPG

…and still another

uksignstraffic.JPG

Back to the motorway

18 November 2009

Driving on the way to the UK, we stopped at the medieval town of Laon in Picardy, France.  Never have I seen such a mysterious and awesome place as this town.   It’s like a setting of a film set.

port.JPG
The 13th century Gate of Ardon

laon2.JPG
The shopping street of Laon

laon4.JPG

They label it as  “Montagne Couronnée” (crowned mountain) because of the towers of the Notre Dame Cathedral which look like a crown on the summit of the hill.

laon5.JPG

It’s like the setting of the film, Da Vinci Code. I could see the figure of Tom Hanks in just about every corner.

17 November 2009

absence.JPG

16 November 2009

In Nice (Cote d’Azur) today:

windowdisplay.JPG
This window display at Sephora is surely reminding the men that now is the time to buy gifts for their girlfriends!

nice.JPG
Christmas street lighting in Avenue Jean Medicin

The Christmas window display in Galeries Lafayette  is on:windowdisplay2.JPG

windowdisplay2a.JPG

windowdisplay2b.JPG
Nice high heels!

One of our favorite megastore to visit, when in Nice, is Fnac.  It’s not only a camera, mobile phone, music and electronics shop, they also have a bookshop that has a wide selection of titles. 

Noticeable is the large area dedicated to cartoon books.  This seems to be the trend now.

cartoon.JPG

cartoon2.JPG

No visit to Fnac is complete without having a coffee and muffin at their coffee shop.

  cafe3.JPG

It’s not only cheap, their brewed coffee is the best in Nice, I think.  And their muffins are huge.  One is enough for two people. 

The coffee shop is popular for book browsers.  Here you can read books while sipping coffee and then return them on the shelves after use.  I saw one reader photographing a page via his mobile phone.  I wonder what was he interested in.

fnac.JPG

fnac2.JPG

In St Laurent du Var (Cote d’Azur)

A flowered city with a seaside resort. There is a huge marina and the coast is dotted with hotels, water sports facilities and gastronomic restaurants.

stlaurent.JPG
A villa in St Laurent du Var.  There’s a lot of huge villas and mansions here, but of course, this is the Cote d’Azur, the playground of the rich and famous.

flower.JPG
Saw this beautiful clematis lying on the pavement.  Zut! I should have picked it up and added it to my pressed flower collection. 

plant.JPG
Lovely use of pebbles! 

ramassez.JPG
Pick or Pay!  Picking up your dog poop is not complicated.  Otherwise, you will get fined of 450Euros!  (and I always thought that there is no law in France against leaving your dog’s poop on the pavement!)

In Cros de Cagnes (Cote d’Azur)

Used to be a fishing village but now popular for sailing enthusiasts and sunbathing tourists.  It is the seaside portion of the main town of Cagnes sur Mer where Auguste Pierre Renoir (the painter) lived the last 11 years of his life.  His house is now a museum.

cros.JPG

The church of Cros de Cagnes. 

fish.JPG

Fish sculpture along the promenade

caravan.JPG

A pick up with a removable caravan.  Cool!  I wonder if there’s a sauna inside..

14 November 2009

Village of the day:  Sant Antonio in Liguria, Italy

We needed to go to Menton for diesel and decided to take the scenic route via the mountains of Ventimiglia. 

santantonio.JPG
We passed by this village last time but couldn’t stop because all the three parking spaces infront of the church were taken.  Fortunately today, there was one space free.

 fruit.JPG
These luscious berries greet everyone entering the village.  I don’t know the name of this fruit.  I’m not sure if it is edible but the birds like it.

santantonio2.JPG
This is the view from the village.  That’s the motorway bridge where motorists traverse between France and Italy

relax.JPG
Someone is making use of his roof to take advantage of the view

santantonio3.JPG
Indeed, olive trees, real or drawn, dot the landscape

hen.JPG

Self-sufficiency is apparent.  Chickens, rabbits…

lettuce.JPG

and vegetable gardens.

obituary.JPG
On our way back to the carpark, we saw this bulletin board.  Typical of Italian villages and towns are boards like this where obituaries are posted.

13 November 2009

To the fishmarket..
espada.JPG

Hmmmm…lovely steak!

espada2.JPG

“But I’m too cute to be eaten!”, says the swordfish

octopus.JPG

Okay then, I’ll just settle for the octopus!

12 November 2009

The elegance of a woman..

fashiona.JPG
…coming from the market

fashion2a.JPG
…chatting with her friend while waiting for the train to pass

fashion3.JPG
….walking back to the car after doing her shopping

fashion4.JPG
…reading the newspaper in a cafe

puppy.JPG
…cleaning up after her puppy

11 November 2009

polizia.JPG

Italian police on patrol…

10 November 2009

house1e.JPG

The houses of Saorge stacked together like pieces of lego

The stacked-up houses of Saorge

09 November 2009

breil.JPG
Breil sur Roya (meaning, the village of Breil by the river Roya)

olive.JPG
The olive trees of Breil are nearing harvest time.  Nettings are laid under the tree to catch the falling olives.

duck.JPG
He’s the black duck on the lake.  He saw the camera and started posing. 

babyswan.JPG
and this must be his little daughter duck

succulent.JPG
I am guessing that this succulent is more than 3 years old

succulent2.JPG
And this one, a cutting from the first one, is one year old.
Saw them from someone else’s garden by the lake

08 November 2009

art.JPG
stencils could turn a boring wall pretty, do you agree?

garden.JPG
Don’t throw your old shower heads. They can be used to water gardens

mail.JPG
“Mr Postman, pls drop the mail here.”

gallery.JPG
Receiving room of an art gallery in Saorge.  The space is only 3 sqm but the colours made it very charming

gallery2.JPG
Entrance to the gallery.  Entrance is free, just don’t scare the cat

art2.JPG
Galerie de Medge
Saorge, France

07 November 2009

mystery.JPG
Sun worshipping on a freezing day, in Menton

rose2.JPG

fleurcar.JPG

photomenton.JPG

A photographic Exhibition at the Palais d’Europe, Menton

kids.JPG

“Let’s rest a bit..”

06 November 2009

grocery.JPG
Early morning shopping in Dolceacqua, Italy. This is just a small store and I thought those two hams hanging on the ceiling makes a good photo op. 

 cornetto.JPG
Having breakfast in an Italian cafe always gives us a lift.

05 November 2009

dog.JPG
“Why are you sad, little clown?”

chrysanth.JPG

November is the month of chrysanthemums in France.  They are the flowers of the dead so it’s a big no-no to bring chrysanths to your host who just invited you for a soiree.

petitdej.JPG

It’s acceptable in France to buy your patisserie from another shop and eat it at a cafe somewhere.  This is because most cafes don’t sell eatables like those above.

bonsai.JPG

I quite like the bonsai.  The tuberous root is so cute.

bonsai2.JPG

They have one pot of bonsai for each table.

 alum.JPG

This is a cute window display at a pharmacy in Menton. 

alum2a.JPG

Here’s another one.  It’s probably stressing a point – that taking this specific vitamin supplement  (tube in yellow) will make me look like that.

alum2.JPG

What I find amazing is that these cute little displays seem to be made of aluminium with holes

glass.JPG

Here’s another cute one, a miniature umbrella in glass.  Contemporary art?

 boulangerie.JPG
They sell the best baguettes here.
A boulangerie in Breil sur Roya, France

04 November 2009

Went to Menton (France) today….

menton.JPG

It was a windy day.  The sea was very choppy, but the scene was mindblowing as always.

 waitress.JPG
Waitress, looking left and right before crossing the road:  “You’re coffee coming up,  monsieur! 

cafe2.JPG

Monsieur:  Thank you!  Please be careful, the cleaning truck might run you over.

cleaner.JPG
Cleaning truck man:  Not to worry.  I’m driving slowly.

After Menton, we drove straight to DolceAcqua (Italy) for some errands:

dolce.JPG

Still very windy but beautiful blue sky

dolce2.JPG

It was very quiet in DolceAcqua today.  The tourists are all gone, just birds preparing for their migration to escape from the coming winter.

shrine.JPG

Senora has a daily morning routine

artdeco.JPG

Surprising to see an Art Nouveau building here

castel.JPG

Then we drove to the next town and saw this staggering view of Castel Vittorio (Italy).  The mountain where it sits is carpetted by autumn coloured vegetation. 

02 November 2009

recycle2.JPG
Who thinks that plastic water bottles cannot be turned into decorative art?
A shop in Paris

More photos at Recycle this Recession

01 November 2009

bergeautumn.JPG
I just love the colours of autumn in the Roya Valley

berghes.JPG
This is Berghe Superior, 370 meters high from where we live. 
The one lane road going up consists of hairpin bends that incline at almost
45degrees angle. But it’s worth the climb. The view up there is impressive!

fontan.JPG
This is the view we see while driving up to Berghe.  The village down below is Fontan.

 zigzag.JPG

From Fontan, you can see the the red, zigzaggy road going up to Berghe.

church.JPG
This is the  orange church of Notre Dame de la Merci in Berghe Superior

church2.JPG
and this is the choir who sang Mediterranean and Bulgarian chants. Lovely!

orange.JPG
Orange is everywhere in this church

church4.JPG
even the frescoes in the ceiling and in the walls are dominated by the orange colour

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

formerly 'A Pinay in Europe'

Translate »

Featuring Recent Posts Wordpress Widget development by YD