What Beautiful Scenery!

18 Jun

I have had to give up using Dragon Dictate to create the text of these blogs.  It doesn’t handle foreign language words at all and I was starting to spend more time editing than it was worth.  It is still a great tool but I think I will only use it for strictly English work in future.  Pity.

After last week’s epic blog, over 2,200 words, this one should be much less wordy but I could still have trouble restricting the number of pictures.  IMHO I got some beauties this week.  A photography expert was asked by his student how to take more interesting photos.  His answer was simple – stand in front of more interesting things!  I did that again this week.

When we arrived back from Tuscany there were letters for us from the French Immigration department, OFII.  Although we have paid for and been issued a one year visa by the consulate in Wellington, we still had to inform the nearest OFII that we were here and what our address was.  They have now set up a medical exam, chest x-ray and interview for us in Toulon for 19th June.  Oh joy!  Of course they want a stash more money as well.  I hate getting caught in rorts which is all this amounts to.

James and Lavinia headed away again on Tuesday leaving us in sole charge until Sunday night.  Italy this time, business with some pleasure added on the end.  Nice.  So we got all the work done that was needed and spent a couple of big days out sightseeing.

Early in our stay here someone thoroughly discouraged us from visiting Cannes.  I don’t remember the details but apparently it was not worth the bother.  This week someone who had just been there wouldn’t stop talking about how nice it was!  (That was not a play on Nice by the way!)  So on Friday morning we pointed the little French sports car in the direction of Cannes, via the ‘D’ roads, not the toll road, to find out for ourselves.

On the way we passed by Le Muy.  A month ago we did a walk with Jeremy near here to a location called Trois Croix.  At the time I wanted to show it in context and I knew roughly where I could do that from – that opposite side near the A8.  Today was my chance, even the light was right.

Just left of top centre you can barely see the three crosses

We reached the coast at Agay at coffee time and found a beachfront cabin serving takeaway cups.  Perfect.  And so was the location.

The water at Agay is so clear that the pontoon looks as if it is in mid air

From here the road and the TGV hug the coastline all the way to Cannes.  It is not a fast road but it is very pretty.  I can imagine that in the middle of summer it will be one huge traffic jam.  That is another reason why we are trying to visit all the well known spots early in the season.  The pictures can tell most of the story…

Fortunately there were plenty of stopping bays on the road from Agay to Cannes

Just can’t get tired of the view!

Once in Cannes we parked the car in a central car parking building and set off exploring.

The town hall is always good for a photo. Watch out for the clock…

As usual there were many huge boats in the harbour but this side looked quite idyllic on the day

Very cool artwork on the central bus depot

View over the harbour from the hill near Notre Dame d’Esperance

The exterior of Notre Dame d’Esperance. Watch out for the clock tower next…

The same clock as the town hall. I am famous!

Inside Notre Dame d’Esperance. Heaps of scaffolding, painted screens depicting what is presently hidden, a major work in progress. No wonder restorations cost millions! Very impressive

All around Notre Dame d’Esperance and down the hill there were serious floral art installations being assembled. It is part of an annual competition

More floral art…

Beachfront café for a coffee before driving home

Our verdict on Cannes?  It is a lovely place to visit, especially when it is still off-peak.

Lavender is due to start flowering in the main production areas not far from the Gorges du Verdon so on Saturday we decided to do some reconnaissance.  We needed to know where to be and when in order to get some nice photos.  As you can see from the selection below, the time is close – one or two weeks.  And we found some fields that are easy to photograph from the roadside.  We may even go up there again next weekend.

Not quite in full bloom yet but looking good

Lavender with farm house in the background

Can’t have too many lavender shots, can we?

There were some very mature looking wheat fields in the same area as the lavender

On the drive here Leanne was noting that the poppies which had been flowering since our arrival in April had now finished. Nek minit…

2000 year old Roman columns at Riez

2000 year old French car, also at Riez

Of course the Lac de Sainte Croix was looking stunning again so I had to take more photos of that.  We were on the north side of the lake after viewing the lavender fields so we went around to the dam end and across the bridge to complete the loop.

Lac de Sainte Croix from near the gorge where they hire peddle boats

This is about the best view available of the dam itself. It is not viewable from the other side

There is a separate road bridge, traffic does not pass over the dam

Looking SE over the village of Sainte Croix near the dam end of the lake

By Sunday we were looking forward to a very quiet day at home.  32˚C in the shade under the north-facing balcony near the pool.  Warm enough for a swim in the 28˚C pool.


2 Responses to “What Beautiful Scenery!”

  1. Jeff June 19, 2012 at 22:26 #

    With Dragon Dictate what about saying “insert french word 1”, “insert french word 2” etc and then go back and enter just these words? It seems such a good concept! Do they have a french language module you can add-in or does it only ever work with a single language?
    Looking at thos photos I bet your polarising filter never comes off the camera..

    • bikernz June 20, 2012 at 16:19 #

      Hi Jeff,
      I tried using a placebo for the foreign words but it just created too much work. WordPress does not have a ‘find & replace’ function so it is all manual with the risk of missing stuff. There is no French module, so to speak. You have to buy the complete French version then you will have no English! I am not ready for that and nor are my readers! So for now I’ll set it aside.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: