Friday, July 17, 2009

Visiting Provence and Normandy

Shot too many photos w. my new camera, but there was so much visual manna that I was greedy. The above are Ira's photos taken in the Ardeche and St. Remy. Provence photos are really drenched w. sunshine though I used a 200 ISO most of the time...the whites and yellows are blinding, the shadows so deep. Its been taking all my Photoshop skills and heaps of time to work on them. So many Roman and medieval sites to see, as well as a visit to St. Remy and the hospital, St. Paul de Mausole, to enjoy Van Gogh's environment...what a thrill to stand in his bedroom, look out that barred window. Art therapy is a part of the treatment that the present patients are given.

We left the Princesse de Provence after a week on the Saone & Rhone, and traveled via TGV to Paris to board the Cezanne, moored on the Seine near the Eiffel Tower. Loved the train; it was smooth, fast, quiet as it moved through fields of rape, wheat, some lavender, sunflowers, etal. How I wish we had train service easy and comfortable to get from one locale to another.

As we sailed up the Seine through Normandy, the grapevines disappeared, and fruit trees were in the landscape, and we had short, sudden downpours of rain nearly every day. I guess its like English weather... We were atop a high hill, exploring the ancient Chateau Gaillard, when one storm hit and we not only put on our rain parkas but also huddled in a covered passageway leading to a keep. Ira had short bursts of rain when he visited Omaha and Utah beaches and the sad sight of the vast American cemetery, so big that one end can't be seen from the other end.

We're disappointed that this German riverboat co. that we've been booking ourselves and clients with is ceasing operations after 2009. We enjoyed its very European style and pace and will miss the talented professional staff aboard each of the 4-5 boats we've been on.

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