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Posts tagged ‘France’

on catching the light in antibes

If I could only catch the light. That is all I want. In order to do that, I will visit villages in France when the sky is clear, the air pristine, and the sun shines at high noon.

In some villages, along the Mediterranean Sea, for example, it easier because the building walls are not so high. They are fishing villages and may be two or three stories high. Martigues, to the west of Marseille, is a good example and one of my favorites.

The perched villages in France, those with a middle ages provenance, pose the most problems. The walls are high, and more importantly they jut up from narrow streets, more like alleys, and block out the sun.

I want to catch the light because I want to take pictures, and it is that sunlight which provides the light and shadows for taking those photographs. Without the light striking past those walls and into the streets of a village, I will only have a shaded or dark passage.

So, I tend to stay home and not venture far away when the sun does not shine. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

But wait, there’s more!

on joining ‘join us in france travel podcast’

I did quite enjoy the days when one went for a beer at one’s local in Paris and woke up in Corsica.  –Peter O’Toole

We had a Corsican wine that had great authority and a low price. It was a very Corsican wine and you could dilute it by half with water and still receive its message.  –Ernest Hemingway

Join Us in France Travel Podcast is a web site and podcast hosted by Annie, and sometimes her long time friend Elyse. Annie is a French woman who had lived in the United States for many years, and decided to return to France where she lives now in Toulouse. Elyse is an American who lives in Toulouse, as well.

Recently, I did an interview–Fall in Love with Corsica, Episode 267–with Annie about my experiences in Upper Corsica, or Haute-Corse, in September, 2019. On the page, “Click to Play” and you will hear our discussion. She provides also a page with guest notes and an outline for easy reference.

Join Us in France has existed for many years. Over time, it has expanded its content to include many contributions by her friend Elyse, a scholar and historian, who talks about locations in France, other than Paris but not always, and their historical significance.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

Most of the listeners are fond of Paris and many of the podcasts are devoted to it. However, more broadly, questions are asked and answered about families traveling to France, what to do and where to go for first time visitors, and sometimes something new is offered for those who travel frequently to France.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

My favorite moments in the podcasts are when the attention is turned to the locations other than Paris. I like listening to the banter between Annie and Elyse, who are obviously long time friends. One has a sense of being a fly on the wall while listening to good friends talk about their favorite topic–France.

Certainly, Join Us in France should be on the top of any list for research about traveling to France.

on wandering the medieval streets of a citadel in calvi

During a recent trip to Haute-Core (Upper Corsica) and while driving north from Bastia to Macinaggio on the east coast of Corsica and down the west coast from Centuri to Cargèse, I noticed the many, many stone towers that dotted the two coastlines. Corsica is a, was a fortified island. They provided points of view for searching the waters for pirates and invading forces. The tower shown in the post, “on being high as a kite in nonza,” is an example.

Citadels—“a fortress, typically on high ground, protecting or dominating a city”—are prominent on Corsica as well. The major towns have them: Bastia has one that overlooks its harbor; Corte has one that sits on a high knoll that overlooks the surrounding countryside; Saint-Florent has one but it is modest and lacks interest; and Calvi has a large one that overlooks its port.

While the definition of “citadel” suggests a fortress, meaning a military base of some kind, the citadels on Corsica had villages in them. People lived there, and it is still true today.

In every town with a citadel, the citadel is a tourist destination for good reasons. They provide excellent views, often panoramic, of the towns, the countryside, and the Mediterranean Sea. The citadels are medieval in design and construction. Anyone wanting a partial sense of life during the Middle Ages will walk through their narrow streets.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!