images and reflections

After couple of days, I have got most of the Provencal photos edited, and have some kind of online gallery available, here. I tested Flickr service while setting up this, to see whether that would be better than hosting them on my own server. But I did not realise they had a 20 meg monthly bandwidth limit, and while testing with couple of my high-resolution originals, I blew my entire quota for this month. Oh well, I think I will stick with my own server, even if I am then limited to whatever code I am able to set up and maintain there. Currently, I am tweaking with JAlbum, and trying to find the most informative and best-designed skin among the offerings. (Unfortunately, I do not have time to script and design one of my own liking.) Attached are some of the photos available in this archive:

Provence, day 8

Return. After a rather intensive week in France, it is great to be back in home in a few hours. (And also good still to have a couple of days to recover.) Finished Light by M. John Harrison on the Helsinki flight; one of the greater SF novels, no doubt, even if it is stronger in sense of wonder than in some single insight provided. Great!

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Provence, day 7

Driving here can be really exhausting. The traffic culture is very different, roads are often very narrow, and routes marked differently. The sum total for a Nordic visitor can create the dizzying feeling of riding in a deadly carousel. Today we visited a “Village des Tortues” (a turtle conservation park), and drove back to Cte d’Azur. Juan les Pins appears to be a typical combination of beach and tourist hotels. Early into bed, for tomorrow.

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Provence, day 6

The over+30C heat and constant travelling is starting to take its toll, and there was a moment this morning we consired staying in bed today. Nevertheless, we managed a visit to Chateauneuf-du-Pape wine village, and to Palais des Papes after that. Couple of bottles to take home, as well as some memories of history, and views of this arid landscape.

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Provence, day 5

This day has been a composite of nature and culture. Following the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh, we visited St. Remy and Arles, seeing whether life imitates art, and/or how/to what degree. Most of the day was spent on driving through the Camargue Natural Park. Loads of pink flamingos, and other such exotic southern beasts. Nice day, even if loaded with contrasts and questions.

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Provence, day 4

Today we checked out from our hotel in Aix, and took a pleasant Sunday drive into Avignon, our next home base. Avignon is a curios place, both a provincial shopping city, serving the local area; an important French cultural stage; and a monument to a certain notorios phase in the history of catholic church. The 59th Avignon theatre festival takes now place before the papal palace.

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Provence, day 3

This day, we went for a morning walk among the old town markets – there seems to be everything, from new shoes to old books on sale in these narrow streets and squares. Then, perhaps half an hours drive to Marseille. A city oddly familiar from Dumas’ novels, this my first visit to here took us quickly via the old harbour up to the hill-top church (Notre Dame de la Garde), then back. (I still hate the traffic, but I am improving, I am told.)

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Provence, day 2

Another warm and sunny day in the southern France. We have explored Aix-en-Provence by foot, seeing much of the Old Town, and getting rather thirsty and hungry in the process. Luckily, there are plenty of charming little restaurants to choose from. Still learning to understand the strange opening hours, though.

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Provence, day 0

(Trying to moblog some of these holidays.) Staying in Helsinki overnight before the very early morning flight. Did shop some classic jazz for listening during those road trips. Espresso in the Srindberg’s, then dinner with Aki in “Villa Thai” in Bulevardi (meal was nice – and hot!) Now couple of hours’ sleep before France…

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