L’isle-sur-la-Sorgue

L’isle-sur-la-Sorgue was our destination today and what a find. Friends had told us about it, but when the word ‘Venice’ creeps into a town’s name, I become concerned. Of course it is nothing like Venice, nothing is, I mean, it has cars, there are no Gondoliers and you can’t get lost! But what it does have is natural waterways running through this ‘decades of centuries old’ town. There is the ‘grand canal’, about ‘a long […]

By |June 9th, 2015|

Avignon

I decided to do a little search on famous people who had anything to do with Avignon and came across John Stuart Mill. His name will be familiar to anyone involved in the social sciences, and I remember him well when studying for my degree. He has been called the greatest English-speaking philosopher of the nineteenth century and his relationship to Avignon is only that he died here.

We then went wandering through the streets of […]

By |June 8th, 2015|

Eguilles – a village

We arrived in Eguille (20 minutes from Aix) in a state of the art local coach/bus with 6 other passengers. Maybe at 1 euro it was too expensive for some, but as usual we just thought what the heck and splashed our money around once more. The bus stopped at the top of this long narrow main street that simply slides down into a majestical lookout, then takes a sharp turn continuing to slide, now […]

By |June 7th, 2015|

Cezanne

Catching local buses can be a good and a bad idea – good, because they are not crowded, the driver can help you with information, you can mostly go when you want and it’s not touristy – but bad because it often takes trial and error to work out timetables, and actual destinations. Today it was a mixture. We caught the right bus but then had to connect with another which was not as reliable. […]

By |June 6th, 2015|

Aix-en-Provence

We stayed in Aix-en-Provence, a university town and the most important educational centre in the region. It is a major city-commune along with Nice, Avignon, Toulon and Marseilles, of the region today known as Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur.

I could never tire of these narrow cobblestone, some bitumen, streets. Whether we are looking at an interesting building, visiting a museum or simply having a coffee, that atmosphere from centuries before has stopped still and waits for us still.

It’s […]

By |June 5th, 2015|

Leaving Barcelona

The Barcelona Inside Me
Robin Becker

Give me, again, the fairy tale grotto
with the portico-vaulting overhead.
Let me walk beneath the canted columns
of Gaudí’s rookery, spiral
along his crenelated Jerusalem
of broken tiles, crazy shields.
Yes, it’s hot as hell and full
of tourists at the double helix,
but the anarchists now occupy
the Food Court, and the arcadian dream
for the working class includes this shady
colonnade cut into the mountainside.
I’ve postponed my allegiance to
the tiny house movement, to the 450
square feet of simple, American […]

By |June 4th, 2015|

Shadow of the wind

Some years ago now, Corrie and I were staying in our friend Maddie’s room in England and came across a book that looked very interesting. It was a novel set in post war Barcelona and probably the best and most creative novel I have ever read. The book by Carlos Ruiz is called ‘Shadow of the Wind”.

Just after the war, Daniel’s father takes him to the secret Cemetery of Forgotten Books, a huge library of […]

By |June 3rd, 2015|

Barcelona – ‘rapera’

It was on again last night! The busking stars under a full moon. There were 20 people there at 8.00 and it had not yet begun. Maestro was setting up the accompanying music as a young lad opened his music sheet, the losange man from last night was lurking without a losange in sight. It was time. The maestro pointed to the lad, who, seeming a little anxious, began quietly, soon to be joined by […]

By |June 2nd, 2015|

Gaudi

Another ‘rambal’ as they call strolling around Barcelona. And it’s difficult to go for a stroll without seeing evidence of one of the great architects of the world – Antoni Gaudi. I decided instead of giving a layman’s interpretation of his work, I would google some pieces that I thought may be of interest to some and add a few of my photos.

As Catalonia grew in wealth and power around the mid-19th century, the region […]

By |June 1st, 2015|

Barcelona

Well, it’s all happening! Our air conditioning wasn’t working so we got a swanky room instead for the same price. The reason I don’t like the classy ones is that it’s hard to leave and explore. But we did leave and ‘ramballed’ (name of the main street) down the crowded boulevarde in the middle of the street. Corrie doesn’t like crowds, and anyway the food was tourist expensive, so we wandered in and out of […]

By |May 31st, 2015|