2011-05 (May 2011)

Daily Photos 

 Spring never ceases to amaze us…even the fields are exploding with flowers:

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The wheat in the fields are still green but already promises a bumper harvest!

Ile de France

26 May 2011

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Our neighbour’s lettuce garden….

Ile-de-France

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Weed passion

25 May 2011

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Back in Paris…at last!

Ile de France

 24 May 2011

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 After our brief stint in Lyon, we stopped by Beune in Burgundy region to re-visit Clos St Bernardin, the only vineyard within the town.  We first came here 12 years ago during our August ’99 holiday.  It’s like tracing back our footsteps 😉

23 May 2011

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Went exploring Vieux Lyon (Old Lyon) to find out why it is in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Reaching the Guignol (Puppet) district, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon these stilt ladies who even posed for my camera!
Lyon, France

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Vieux Lyon is renowned for its Renaissance architecture and this spiral staircase is a perfect example.  

 22 May 2011

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We spent the night in Saint Preist as it is only half an hour tram ride to Lyon but we were skeptical at first when we saw this sign on some parking lot.  Oh well….
Lyon-Saint Preist, France

 21 May 2011

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 We wanted to see where the famous Chartreuse liquor is made so we made  Saint Pierre de Chartreuse our base before exploring the museum of Chartreuse.  This skiing resort of a village mades us feel like we were in Austria or Switzerland, except that we are still in France, in the High Alps!

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After a quick tour of the Chartreuse, we finally drove to Grenoble, a city I have known very well on the internet, particularly its legendary telepheriques,  but had no chance of visiting..until today! 

20 May 2011

We’re on TOP of the world!  This is the Col de Lautaret, (2,058m alt),  a part of the French Alps which is well known for its use in the Tour de France.  We reached this point after crossing the border of Italy on our way to Grenoble.  Truly a mindblowing experience!  The snow you see is a glacier, it stays on all year round and never melts, unless affected by climate change…

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 Col de Lautaret, France

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After crossing the Col de Lautaret, we stopped at the village of La Grave (1,525m alt), mentioned in our Discover France travel book as the Chamonix of the High Alps.  We always dreamed of exploring the Chamonix and La Grave is the closest thing we could get.  (It was only few days later while making my research that I discovered that this mountain village is “one of the most beautiful villages in France”!.  It is a favorite among extreme and “no-limits” skiers because it’s the starting point for taking the 40-minute telepherique ride to the glaciated peaks of La Meije.

One place that really blew us away is the cemetery found in the grounds of the church situated on the topmost part of the village.  Never have we seen tombs shaped in a triangular way.  Each tomb is actually a cross topped by two planks of wood formed at a 45degree angle, to symbolize a roof to protect the cross from the harsh fall of snow in the winter.  Most of the people buried here are the guides who died in duty.

The tomb on the picture has no “roof” because it is not a memorial to a mountain guide but to the parish priest who died in 1988.  And if you will notice a second smaller cross below it, it is for the memory of the “Maitre Chien de Secours” or the rescue dog who lost its life in the mountains.
La Grave, Haute Alpes, France

19 May 2011

We are enroute to Lyon (France) via Piemonte (Italy) and  stopped by Borgo San Dalmazzo (Italy) for some quick sightseeing when we saw these giant mushrooms on display outside a food shop.  Of course, it’s the Porcini  season and this king of mushrooms is a must on every Italian’s dining table, even if the price goes as high as 30euros a kilo!

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 Piemonte, Italy

 18 May 2011

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Flora and fauna

Hiking in the Roya Valley, South of France

 17 May 2011

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Two Italian flags amongst the laundry….

Ventimiglia, Italy

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Roman viaducts are scattered in the Roya Valley, some of them just standing as ruins but others have been fortified (I prefer to use this word than “renovated”) such as this one along the road.

Shot taken from a moving bus, South of France

16 May 2011

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Ooooppsss..the snow is melting

View from the bus station, Ventimiglia, Italy

15 May 2011 

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Geraniums at the petrol station

Breil sur Roya, South of France

 14 May 2011

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Tromphe l’oeil in La Brigue
Roya Valley, South of France
13 May 2011

Blooms and Fruitlings of May

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Roses and lavander

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Cherries

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Peony

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grapes

12 May 2011

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Fontan village, France

11 May 2011

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It’s the season for acacia flowers, great for tempura!
Roya Valley, South of France

10 May 2011

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The cemetery of Fontan.  Cemeteries in Italy and France and probably the whole of Europe are always marked by tall cypress trees, symbol of immortality.
South of France

09 May 2011

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Roses, purple daisies and used railway sleepers…voila!
Someone’s garden, Roya Valley, France

08 May 2011

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Sanctuary of the Madonna di Passoscio or the Annunziata
Pigna, Italy

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Inside the sanctuary is a grotto made up of stalactites, both naturally formed and assembled by man

07 May 2011

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Trying my hand on mural
at home, South of France

06 May 2011

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My neighbours’ windows..
South of France

05 May 2011

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I was waiting for the bus back home after a morning of shopping fish and vegetables when I noticed this roof terrace. At least the owner managed to squeeze one into the roof. Nice!
Ventimiglia, Italy

04 May 2011

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View from my magical corner
at Home, South of France

03 MAY 2011
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a tromphe l’oeil in an Art School building
Flayosc, Var, South of France

02 May 2011

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Roses to die for
Roya Valley, South of France

01 May 2011

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The 17th century Baroque-style Notre Dame de la Visitacion
Fontan, Roya Valley, France

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