Monday, 27 June 2011

Of Corse

So a holiday is finally upon us, after four months of toil in France. We part arranged linking up with a good friend from back in Nottingham who had been travelling around France for the past couple of weeks, and making the trip together over to Corsica.
So after a very relaxed friday evening, we set off to Nice on Saturday morning to make the rendezvous. Rob had picked the quietest spot in Nice, finding a Cafe within metres of a conveyor belt of noisy wedding parties, drums pounding, celebrations filling the air. We took coffee and made our way to the Ferry.
Let me state that Corsica Ferries is NOT P&O.
We had a small cabin to keep the bags on board, and whilst exploring the boat, found the outdoor swimming pool and sundeck was probably the best place to hang out for the journey. Coolbox with beers and Champagne and a good catch up, ate away into the 6hour journey time.
Staying in the Baie de Liscia, our hotel was good, and the following day we set out to catch some of the sights. A flawless day really, Gin clear seas, burning golden sands, Radox advert mountain pools, fiery red rock formations at Les Calanques, and to top it off, encore de Champagne on the rocks by the sea, watching the fiery Mediterranean sun lay down its head for the evening.
On the move again now, but a selection of some of the pictures from yesterday.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011


Provence, or more specifically the Luberon Valley. As it seems the quintessentially French experience for the English, and not really having visited the area in any great detail, we thought it was high time for a weekend away somewhere slighly more stylish than crashing on a friends floor in the Alps, or camping on North Yorkshire hilltops in bleak storms.
We checked out the Chambre D'Hote website, which is basically a list of upmarket B&B's and found quite a nice little place to stay in Lacoste, which is a little village, perched underneath the Chateau formerly owned by the Marquis De Sade, and now owned by Pierre Cardin.....(I think he makes boxer shorts)
A couple of days of touring round the Luberon Villages, Great rustique Provencal food, Wine tasting at Chateau De L'Isolette (Struck lucky there!) and a bit of a mission to find the Lavender fields of Valensole made for a Great weekend. One of the main missions of the trip was to hunt down the Lavender fields for some photos. Unfortunately we were a little early to catch them in full bloom, but still managed to fire off a couple of shots. As we are going to Corsica next week, we shall miss the Lavender blooms, but perhaps might make it to Grasse, which is much nearer, as they have some fields around there.
The trip back to Sospel took us through the Gorges Du Verdon which was some of the most stunning scenery I have seen in some while, despite being spoiled somewhat by what seemed like an endless trail of out of town French Camper-Vans (rapidly moving up the charts in my most detested)
Photos of the Gorges will appear in due course. But time is drawing in, and I have some tent business to deal with in the morning in the form of putting up Marquees in the Stadium in Monaco......don't ask!!!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Night Lights

A couple of captures of the light fading behind the mountains above Moulinet. It looked a lot more spectacular than I could capture on camera, but the effect can still be seen a little.

I intend to travel up this valley at some stage in the week to try a sunset shot over the foothills and down to the Med. I have been saying that I will do this for a couple of weeks yet, to no avail. So, perhaps misguidedly, I am hoping that this blog will help me to find motivation to do some of the things I talk about doing.


Another burning hot day in the Alpes-Maritimes. Not the sort of weather to be chasing delinquent horses round the grounds, or the weather to even be doing much at all.
A few more photos from Madone De Fenestre to follow. I found that a couple of the shots I took were pretty similar to ones I had shot on my previous visit, so I haven't processed any of those.
I will be uploading photos which I have taken in the past at various stages, so I am sure some more of this place will crop up in the future.

Sunday, 19 June 2011


Today was definitely a step in the right direction. In saying that, it was more productive than yesterday, but not monumental by anybody's standard.
A drive up the Col Du Turini, and over into the Vallee de Vesubie finished with an uphill slog in the car to Madone De Fenestre, took us to some beautiful springtime mountain scenery. I had walked here in April or May when the snow line was a lot higher and not another soul was present on the tracks. Today was a big change. I hadn't really encountered the French "Randonneurs" before today, but they were out in force. Mass bonjour exchanges, and receiving countless disapproving looks for our choice of hiking gear... (we don't subscribe to the french uniform of head to toe Quechua kit) kinda spoilt the tranquility of the mountains, but it was fairly easy to avoid after the initial climb.
I am going to head back here in the next couple of weeks to photograph the Lacs Du Pral, but today we just hiked up to the initial plateau which gives great views over Madone De Fenestre. Plus, the last time I went looking for the Lacs Du Pral, I made massive navigational errors and ended up freestyle climbing up 45degree plus rockslides in completely the wrong direction. Now the snow has shifted pretty much, the true path is more evident, and will be a breeze to do one morning for some early morning light.
In any case, an epic day out in the Mercantour National Park. Blazing hot temperatures in the valleys, and near perfect conditions for walking in the mountains.
Without any further delay, here are the initial shots from today.

More to follow, but it's late and i don't have the inclination to go through any more.


So, to commence. Today was going to be the first day of adventures which could be documented on a blog. However, seeing as the best laid plans can often falter, the worst laid plans must surely have little or no chance of fruition
As such, pipe-dream plans of a day out in the mountains, soon turned to a trip towards the coast, an unnecessary lavish spending spree, and culminated in a demi-bouteille of Champagne on the beach at Biot. In essence, this is not a bad ending, but it is nothing like the photographic epiphany i had imagined.
Progress Nil. Epic Cote D'Azur cliche experience One
Tomorrow, I promise I will endeavour to produce the goods