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Arles: New Direction

Arles: New Direction

Just like Nantes, who has re-purposed some old, downtown, factory space to promote artist/engineers to build some fantastic, imaginative art/machines; Arles is also re-purposing some old factory space for avant guard artists. But they are doing more, the LUMA foundation is adding a Frank Gerry building to showcase it as well. You can see a picture of the design below and also part of the mission statement. They are well under way to completion as they have finished most of the structure and have just started the cladding.



The LUMA Foundation is holding a huge exposition "Arles 2016: LES RENCONTRES DE LA PHOTOGRAPHIE" with exhibitions at over 20 sites. I personally am not looking for this kind of art right now, so I didn't buy a pass to see it, but you can tell that it is very provocative by looking at the signage.... I suppose the Impressionist Painters were also quite provocative when they started out... and after a while the population caught it and followed along.



Posted by tedvanrossum 00:45 Archived in France Comments (2)


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Avignon is known for its walled city and for its bridge, (another uncompleted project, like OACIS). Both you see below. It was also the residence of the pope in the 14th century when seven successive popes lived there. There still is a papal residence there still, but very run down...(It was too run down for me so I guess I should go to Rome to see if there might be a papal vacancy there).

Les Halles

I did stumble upon a wonderful market, Les Halles which has a living green wall. (The green you see is all living plants). It is a fabulous market with stalls for fruit, cheese, vegetables, meat & fish. (Yes, those are fresh kidneys sitting on top of the lamb shoulders.) ...


They also have wine kiosks where they serve beer and wine... locals will buy something at another stall and have it delivered there...What shall I have for lunch? I know oysters!!!



Posted by tedvanrossum 12:15 Archived in France Comments (0)

Driving in Southern France: The 3 P's

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Driving in Southern France: The 3 P's

My faithful steed "Juke Nisan" and I have parts ways in Nice. She was a good travel companion; we only had a few minor differences of opinion, mostly on what gear to shift into... and I thank her for her patience.

I am also thankful for what she taught me about driving in Europe, especially in southern France; it is different from North America in 3 major ways: Passing, Patience & Parking.

The Expressways in Europe are wonderful, they are 4 lanes, (and often 6 lanes), and join most large and medium sized cities. They are also fast, with a maximum speed of 130 KPH.;)... but you need calculus to navigate them safely and effectively. Other than stay in the speed limit, they basically have only 2 rules:
1) Trucks maximum speed is 90 KPH.
2) Stay in the right most lane unless the car/truck in front of you is going too slow, then pass in the left lane, but go back to the right most lane when it is clear.

The calculus part is that you have to know what is happening all around you; you may be doing 120 and want to pass a truck ahead of you, but there may also be a car may be a car in the left lane behind you doing 140... so do you have enough time to pass the truck before he/she sits on your tail flashing their lights? Yes my friends highschool calculus has finally become useful!

In city centres, the streets reflect their history. They were built for horses and pedestrians, with an occasional cart to clog them up. To say the least, they are narrow, and of course that also means that they are one way as well... So how do you get from point A, to your hotel on the other side of town?... Why GPS of course... without GPS to manage the route, this would be an impossible task even for Stephen Hawking.

But even with this wonderful invention, you must undertake the journey with patience because there could be pedestrians on either side of the very narrow street, or quite often occupying the centre... be Zen and have patience...

This I find is the most difficult part of the European driving experience. Not only are the parking spaces a LOT smaller (even if you have a small car), you have a whole new signage to contend with. When you see cars parked on the side of the street, you wonder how they got in there... with maybe a foot or two between each car. No, I didn't try my parallel parking abilities, I decided to go to the parking lot. Here you have a machine where you buy your parking ticket and put it in your window. You will find these parking lots in town squares, or on tree lined verges. But if you think you are now safely ensconced for an overnight stay, ... better read the cryptic signs... In the morning you may find a local farmers market where your car used to be... and your car? Towed to some pound for wayward cars.



Posted by tedvanrossum 16:07 Archived in France Comments (1)

Ahh Beautiful Nice !

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Beautiful Nice

How would I describe Nice? I think of her as bright, elegant and beautiful... Her architecture is colourful, and tastefully decorated, as you can see here walking down the Avenue Jean Médecin... and I would describe her as being expensive... All the high end shops in the Centre ville are not for the faint of purse!... Luckily for me they don't charge for looking...

Nice also has beautiful public spaces, the "Mirror d'eau" on the Promenade du Paillon is a wonderful fountain you can walk through, (like our Place does Spectacles). Right close by is the "Sun Fountain" on the Place Masséna, here Apollo shines in all his naked glory, surrounded by equally impressive naked bronzes.


Then of course you need to see the view from the Parc de la Colline, (i.e. the ruins of a castle on the high hill overlooking the city); it is a steep walk up but it is so worth it. The view of he city and the surrounding hills is breath taking! And yes, that is the Bai des Anges and the Promenade des Anglais, where I'm going next.



Posted by tedvanrossum 03:32 Archived in France Comments (1)

Promenade des Anglais

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Promenade des Anglais

The Promenade runs for many kilometers along the Baie des Anges and connects the beach to the city. It is the place to stroll and enjoy the warm autumn afternoon sun. You can sit and stare out into the open sea, or watch the teenagers frolic on the beach, or maybe just watch the relaxed motionless sunbathers... There are public sections for everyone and private sections that cater to people that want a little more luxury...




I was surprised at how rocky the beach was. There was no sand to speak of, but at least the rock were smooth and weathered. I guess it is a function of the strong current and undertow there.

and I

Of course there are still reminders of the tragedy that happened last summer. Soldiers patrol the Promenade and the public shrines are still here as well.


My Private Yacht

My next stop is Manarola in Italy. I thought I'd go there on my private yacht, unfortunately my captain tells me that she is too big for the dock there, and my helicopter pilot is in the hospital with a burst appendix, so I guess I'll take thee train.




Posted by tedvanrossum 19:14 Archived in France Comments (2)

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