Thursday, September 30, 2010

New Camera

The only thing exciting about these pictures is that they were taken with my new camera.  It's a Panasonic Lumix w/ 12.1 MP and 16x regular zoom and up to 34x extended zoom.  I hadn't figured out the zoom when I took these pics.  Maybe next time.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Paris Update

We went to see an interesting photo exhibit on Thursday.
This one was my favorite.
I took this picture on Friday. Yes, they are on the sidewalk. I made it XL so you could see the street name.

On Saturday, we wandered around an area with flowers for street names and adorable houses (smack dab in the middle of Paris).

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Justice sociale - grève générale

This was our first day back in Paris.  Over 1,000,000 people demonstrated against the proposed change in the retirement age, from 60 to 62. These pictures were all taken at Place de la Bastille (where it seems angry mobs have been gathering for years). All was well again the next day.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

At the Beach

We spent almost 3 days in St. Jean-de-Luz, just south of Biattitz. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking.
Although this store had a chile "awning", inside were the best chocolates we'ver ever eaten.
Henry, are you just as good identifiying motorcycles as you are identifying cars?  This one's a 3-wheeler!
Yes, this is a picture of a tapas bar. One day, we took the train a stop to the south and then a navette (kind of like a water taxi) and spent the day in Hondarribia, Spain - one of the cutest towns ever.

From the boat returning to France.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Our Version of the Tour de France

We left St-Lary-Soulan Thursday morning to drive across the col d'Aspin and col de Tourmalet .  It's amazing that these were 2 of the 4 cols that were part of one stage of the tour. 

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Two Days and Two Incredilbe Climbs

We left Carcassonne (Languedoc-Roussillon) Tuesday morning and drove to Saint Gaudens (Haute Garonne). On the way we stooped at a site the Cathars built  called Montségur (Ariège Pyrénées). In the first picture you can see the huge structure on top of this isolated, tall rock spire.  The second one shows the view down to the parking lot.  It was a 45 minute walk (straight up - I guess there wasn't enough room on the rock for switchbacks).  It was so steep and slippery that it took us about twice as long to get back down.
This as all we saw once we got up there.
From a differnt viewpoint.

From Saint Gaudens, we drove to St-Lary-Soulan (Midi-Pyrénées).  To get there we drove to Luchon ( a Tour de France staring point) and up across the col de Peyresourde.  Between Luchon and St-Lary-Soulans, we stopped at Lac d'Oô (Hautes-Pyrénées).  That was a 2 mile and 320 meter climb in the Pyrenees - beautiful.
About a third of the way up, I took this picture of our parking lot.
There was no way to take in the whole scene, so I chose a mountain and lake combo.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Carcassonne (2nd post today)

On Monday, August 30, we left St. Remy and drove to Carcassonne, where we visited a chateau built within this fortified city.  Our hotel room and the hotel's restaurant overlooked the walled city.  Pretty cool.
I cheated - the picture below is from a post card.
There was a church there too with a beautiful stained glass window.  I wanted it to be a kaleidescope!


This picture is for you, Henry.  Can you identify this car?  Ours is the black one in the picture.
We visited Glanum, an archaeological site in St. Remy-de-Provence. The ruins visible now are from Roman occupations -  they were driven out by the Visigoths about between 200 and 400 A.D.  Gauls and others had inhabited it from a century or two B.C. It was really cool - the arch was the entry to the city.