Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Oops. . . . . .

It is interesting to watch people from different countries, who speak different languages and have different culture converge in one place as tourists.

Some are excited and talk animatedly while some silently take in all the view that the country has to offer.

Some come with their expensive cameras to take the excellent shot that they are dreaming of.

Some set up their tripods and wait for the perfect sunset.

While others make do with their small point and shoot.

There were times when I missed my tripod (especially while shooting movies) but the thought of lugging them around everywhere made me leave it at home.
By the way this is the sunset at Normandy. I had to just keep clicking, and with the lapse of every 30 seconds, the hue of the red sky kept changing.

Marken, an island in Holland is a good place for photogrpahy.
You can capture some nice story book pictures like ". . . . . and she was grazing the sheep in the meadow when......."

Had been to this restaurant to get a bite and we parked ourselves outside so that we could enjoy the sun and have a good view of the people passing by

 and also enjoy the music that these street singers were playing

(oh this picture reminded me, that ice cream Haagen Dazs is really great, we were on the lookout for outlets that sell this) 

We were impressed by this waiter who balanced his tray well and served with efficiency.

I was clicking away while Christine (wifey’s cousin) was also clicking from another angle.

Suddenly there was a faux pas and the expression of the people and the bottle actually falling down was caught on Christine’s camera.

Nothing great but once in a lifetime shot from a point and shoot camera.

That’s the three of us.

And in case you are wondering what we were having . . . . .

You get some funny results when you request others to click you.

“Madam can you click us together?”

And this is what we got. Either she misjudged my height or she thought my face was not good enough to be clicked and was taken in by wifey’s dazzling smile. In all probability her finger went to the zoom button while clicking.
Anyway I like this picture and am keeping it.

And then there are these “wedding shots at special locations”

Like this one which was close to the Eiffel tower with the merry go round as the backdrop

Or this one at Amiens

Or this one at Versailles outside the palace.

You could see the boredom on the couple's face when they were off camera and were waiting for the ordeal to be over.

On the last day in Paris, we decided to have a proper meal in a proper restaurant. This was clicked by the boy who worked there. First he spoke to us in French, but switched over to fluent Hindi. Yes he was from India (Hoshiarpur) and could not bear to see us struggling with French.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Josy's Bed and Breakfast

When we booked the place to stay at Flesselles, we did not anticipate the problem that we would face because of the distance of Flesselles from Amiens. We thought 12 kms is nothing and we can somehow commute to the town. But it’s a real small place and there is only one bus in the morning and one in the evening.

But we are glad that we booked this place as we had a great time staying with Daniel and Josy at Josy’s B&B. (Bed & Breakfast)

The couple are so warm hearted and open that we felt that we were staying at home.

Like mentioned on his website “Ducks are the boss’s favorite” You will find artifacts all over the house in the form of ducks.

I identified 5 ducks in the one above. Do you see more ?

Each one of his ducks in the pond are tagged and he takes special care of them, even to the extend that he would pump warm water into the pond so that they will not feel cold in winter. He takes care of all the birds and animals in the field and loves gardening.

As I clicked this picture, a swallow swooped down, skimmed the water and flew away. Daniel said, “you saw that? That bird is taking water in its beak to built its nest. Come I will show you”
He took us to the place where he used to park his car, and showed us the nests made by the swallow. There were many and it was high up on the roof. I managed to get a few shots using my zoom.

He loves nature so much that he never made any attempt to remove or deter the birds from making nests there. (Swallow’s nests are very messy with bird droppings all over the place)

In the orchard they have apples, figs, plums, kiwi fruit, berries, pears, and peaches of all varieties.

The best of the fruits were plucked from the orchard and used to make jam, fruit preserves and other delicacies by Josy.

David and his wife from Belgium were also guests during the time of our stay.

The next day in the morning, Josy was kind enough to drop us at Amiens for our sightseeing.

Liked the eco friendly living room with the lights coming on only when it is required. (some sort of proximity switch or sensor for each lamp I suppose)

The old hand pump was used as a decorative piece near the front door.

The view from our room

And the view of our room

I loved the skylight in the bathroom.

A view in the twilight :

Every morning we were woken up by the cock crowing at the crack of dawn.

He said that it was an English Rooster, so would only go “Cock a doodle doo… instead of Cocorico”
During the day time its absolute silence with only the birds chirping and the occassional neigh of the horse in the neighbour's farm. 
One of the rabbits that he caught.

In case you are wondering, these birds and animals are not meant for the dinning table.
A Ducth couple who came all the way from Amsterdam cycling, to spend the night there. They looked weather beaten, but their spirits were high.

I liked the small instruction that was put up on the door in the room.

On the last night of our stay, Josy showed us their family photographs while Daniel (who was in the French army) showed us how he looked in his hey days among some penguins somewhere in Russia (you can see Daniel rumaging through his collection in the mirror)

While we talked, small glasses of a stiff shot were passed around which he said was “good for digestion” (this was brewed at home)

Josy wanted to click us but the flash of her camera refused to work.

The ever helping Daniel fixed it for her.

All eyes on wifey as she made the entry in the guest book. They said that they are proud of that entry as it was the first from India.
(we wish them more)

One picture for posterity with all of us.

We felt sad leaving the place, but we had to move on to our next destination.

The bus arrived exactly as per schedule at five minutes past seven in the morning.

(will write about Amiens and its boat cruise later as I have to prepare the video clipping for uploading on YouTube.)