* Between The Sea (the Med) and The Alps -- {Pronounce: ontruh la mair eh lay zalp}

Friday, August 8, 2014

Tripping Through France - Introduction

Tripping 01

When we recently went up to Paris for a weekend visit with our son and his family, we turned the trip into a little driving vacation lasting about a week and a half.    We had so many interesting experiences, I thought I would take everybody else along with us in an armchair travelogue with a series of photographic descriptions on the various aspects of the interior areas of this country.

Tripping 02
Photographing the countryside for my blog
Paris is around 560 miles/900 km away; we turned it into a 1300 miles/2100 km round trip through various regions all on small national roads rather than any turnpikes.  We took our time just enjoying whatever caught our interest along the way, mostly in the form of taking pictures, something I personally have developed an interest in as I've traveled around this foreign continent over the years.  Doc Leo was quite amused at how often passing trucks gave me the same audible salute they did 50 years ago when I was just a budding teenager, which was all really quite fun.

Tripping 03
Canon PowerShot S5 IS
However, halfway up, my baby developed some kind of a sensor problem.  Instead of seeing the nice bright sunny views of reality, a dark film appeared when I pressed the shutter, which also showed up in the actual photo.  We spent the rest of the trip trying to correct the image as much as possible, but every light condition required a different setting, and sometimes we didn't succeed at all.  I did learn that I couldn't use my polarizer, as that made things even worse, but sometimes a flash would help. 

We are now faced with deciding to pay for a very expensive fix or pay even more and buy a replacement equivalent.  Bummer. 

Sunny mornings correct the best on my computer, dusk or cloudy pictures are the worst, some I can make almost normal, some I can't do much of anything to, and the whole situation is very frustrating.  I'm not a colorist (ironically the industry the Doc designed equipment for!), so trying to fix the multiple shots I took instead of just one with a bunch of trial and error manipulation has been a real nightmare. 

Hopefully I've been adequately successful that you can still enjoy the scenes despite the often poor photo quality.  As always, you can tap any picture and get an enlarged view. 

Tripping 04
Natural perfume
Tripping 05
High point of a gorge
Here is a little preview of some of the aspects I'll be covering.  On this trip, all the lavender fields were in full bloom as we got started on the route, such a lovely way to begin.  Later, we passed through a gorgeous gorge area, although I'm not so skilled to capture 3D scenery in all its glory.

Tripping 06
Medieval stained glass
Tripping 07
Strolling in nature
We stopped to visit some friends in an old Medieval town, so I captured a little of the old village ambiance, as well as the ancient pilgrimage cathedral in the center of town.  After our weekend in Paris seeing our son and his family and new house, we continued back down on a different route, passing through more 3D territory.  The world is full of natural wonders, and sometimes we left the beaten path to find them.

Tripping 08
Top of the world
Tripping 09
Patchwork crops
We crossed over some of the more western French Alps as we got closer to home, which provided some awesome scenery, especially as stormy weather was rolling in. Being summer, we saw a lot of crops in full bloom, which really provided some colorful pastoral patchwork.  France has always been a fairly agricultural country, and modern importation of many food products hasn't completely wiped out a lot of the farming industry.

Tripping 10
Passing through the territory
Man has also contributed to the visual feasts one can find along the road, so I also tried to record some of the more interesting ones we came across.  Every country, every region around the world has its beauty and oddities.  Sometimes you can find the same thing in multiple areas, sometimes things only look like they do in specific areas.  If one is from a city, one doesn't come across rural scenes every day. 

I hope I've managed to capture enough interesting aspects of the country I happen to live in to give you a birds eye view of a world you may not have access to personally.  It was fun trying to put the pictures together (once I finished the unpleasant manipulations), now it will be enjoyable telling their stories in a few installments.  Enjoy!

FYI, you can always tap a smaller picture to get an enlarged view.


  1. Love your pictures, I also love learning about your life and adventures in France. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you, Miriam. I have always enjoyed trying to share living over here with those who don't get a similar opportunity and may not even get to visit. Glad you're enjoying it.

  2. Beautiful! I love that last one especially!!

    1. I love that cropping tool. It can do wonders with an otherwise blah photo, which is what most of mine taken while driving tend to be. The top one of the countryside was also just taken out the side window with the car in motion. I love these two photos if only because I know what the originals looked like!

  3. I think your pictures are terrific! Especially like the lavender fields. Sounds like a splendid trip.

    1. If you could have seen what they looked like before I tried playing with them, you'd have felt as sick as I did. By the time I fixed them as much as I could, I'd forgotten what reality looked like, and they aren't too bad.

      I did have to limit how many pictures of lavender fields I wanted to bore you with. They were all in such a gorgeous condition at that moment. And my camera still worked properly!

  4. Replies
    1. Hopefully you'll enjoy many of the ones yet to come!


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