Passerelle du Drac & Lac de Monteynard

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I like France, for her diversity of any kind. Especially in nature. For example- living in Alpes does not mean the only ski but also walk & bath in plenty of the beautiful lakes!

Today I invite you for a small walk on the rope bridge Passerelle du Drac!

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Length: 220 m, width: 1.20 m, height: 45 to 85 m according to the height of the water.

Apparently, this type of Himalayan bridge is very rare in Europe. The view of the lake & surrounding mountains is really breathtaking. You can make a hike and go back by boat, however, boats are available only during summer.

 

 

 

 

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L’Ébron

 

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River Drac
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Windsurfing is very popular  in France
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The Lake of Monteynard

Accessibility Treffort:
7,5 km (4.7 miles) from Les Vignes car park
9,5 km (5.9 miles) from La Mira pier

Accessibility Savel:
3 km (1.8 miles) from the beach car park

It is only 1h from Grenoble!

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The bridge is accessible for pedestrians and mountain bikers…and if you have no fear, you can cross second -twin- bridge-Passerelle de l’ Ebron!

3 paserelle

🙂

daga

 

 

 

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Saint Rémy de Provence -in the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh#2

 

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Self-Portrait, Saint-Rémy, late-August, 1889, original painting in Musee d’Orsay, Paris

After time in Arles, Vincent voluntarily went to the Saint- Paul de Mausole, a psychiatric hospital in Saint-Rémy de Provence. He did not feel well, for some period of time he was even unable to paint. However, the drill of an asylum helped him to improve his health condition… for a while.

He wrote a lot of letters to his brother Theo, where he described his feelings & emotions : (..)“I’ve been here almost a whole month, not one single time have I had the slightest desire to be elsewhere; just the will to work again is becoming a tiny bit firmer”(..)

 

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The room of Vincent van Gogh in an asylum

Vincent has also described the day to day habits:”(…) Now I take a bath twice a week and stay in it for 2 hours, then my stomach is infinitely better than a year ago, so I only have to continue, as far as I know(…)”

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bathroom in psychiatric hospital Saint- Paul de Mausole

On his good days, he often painted in the institution’s walled garden and he was later allowed to work outside the hospital too.

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patio of asylum of Saint- Paul de Mausole
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part of a walled garden

Vincent was exceptionally productive at Saint-Rémy, where he completed around 150 paintings in the space of a year.

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Irises, Saint-Rémy: May 1889 original painting in Getty Center, L.A
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Starry Night & Francois:))

 

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Starry Night, Saint-Rémy: June 1889, original in The Museum of Modern Art, New York
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Vincent Van Gogh Bedroom in Arles, original painting in Musee d’Orsay, Paris

This is his bedroom in Arles, not in Saint Rémy de Provence, however, he painted it during his stay at the hospital.

After visiting the asylum, we have sighted the city…

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the place where I bought my favourites tapenades (product of Provence)
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Street of St Rémy de Provence where Vincent painted The Road Menders

 

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Vincent & I :))

 

 

Daga

source:  http://www.vggallery.comhttp://vangoghletters.org and  https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl

 

Arles. In the footsteps of Vincent van Gogh#1

 

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White Flowers with Blue background by Vincent van  GoghBührle Collection Zürich

Arles is a city in Provence, south part of France. I’m not sure if you know it but Arles is a Roman ancient city and also a place where Vincent van Gogh created numerous paintings including famous Café Terrace at Night. Vincent Van Gogh lived in Arles relatively short period of time- just 15months. He suffered mental illness (probably bipolar disorder) from which he cut off part of his ear. After few short visits to a hospital in Arles, he decided to go to the asylum in Saint-Remy for treatment.

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Café Terrace at Night by Vincent van Gogh

I have to admit that Arles charmed us not only by a famous painter but also by their own heritage: an ancient rural city of Roman Imperium.

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Place de la République with Mairie d’Arles (town hall) & Obélisque

Formerly a 17th century Carmelite Convent, Julius Caesar is now a   5*hotel with décor designed by Christian Lacroix…

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Walking around we found that an ancient theatre…

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….is still in use! The new stage has been built & lights were added; this is something which I have never seen before, even in Greece. It surprises me, but on the other hand, it is very practical. What for built new theatre if previous one is in relatively good condition?

 

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Théâtre antique d’Arles

Roman Amphitheatre is also in constant use. Arles Amphitheatre is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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The bank of the Rhône river …

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Rhone River in Arles

..where Vincent painted Starry Night Over the Rhone

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Starry Night Over the Rhône by Vincent van Gogh

Following his steps, I came to Café Terrace:

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Place where Van Gogh stayed in Arles does not exist anymore. It was a small yellow house attached to this building:

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We have visited local marché as well. The market in Arles is one of the biggest in France.

 

After few days in Arles, we went to Saint Rémy de Provence but this story I will describe it in my next post.

Daga

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Au pied du Glacier de Saint-Sorlin (2707m)

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It is spring. Flowers are blooming, snow is melting, days are longer & sunnier and we went to see glacier de Saint-Sorlin.  It’s free to see (compare to Mer de Glace near Chamonix), it just needs to hike a bit;)

We started our hike from a place which is called Col de la Croix de Fer and is at 2064m (we used a car till this point but it is possible to hike from 300m-you just need more time):)

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Our plan was to walk until refuge de l’Etendard (around 2500m) and then hike towards Glacier.

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Finally, after a while, we saw the refuge a mountain lake and in the background- glacier…

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the water was freezing cold…

 

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I think that some of our guys wanted to check how deep it is…

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the lake was tempting…

 

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..but the glacier was calling…

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we left the lake behind us and start to hike higher and higher…

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and higher…

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…guys were enjoying snow in shorts( apparently for a Parisiens it is a unique experience)

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until we reached the glacier de Saint-Sorlin

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photo both of us was a must;)

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and also our friend JB..this photo I called: Le Parisien et le Glacier:)

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I took few pictures of the glacier itself but I just add this one -glacier is melting (unfortunately) and until end of  21 century will be a long time gone…

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on our way back we had some picturesque views as well…

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We will definitely come back there and try to climb over the glacier (with crampons)…

Daga

PS. I was not very lively recently on my blog, due we moved to a new home and unfortunately I was busy with pretty mundane matters…however I had some free moments and I took an advantage of hiking and travelling a bit, so I will put more posts soon.

A  bientôt!

D.

 

 

 

Valentine’s day in a street art

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Valentine’s hearts  in  Zugmeyer’s Chocolat shop 

“All you need is Love, Love..is all You need..”  says the famous song one of the very famous bands -The Beatles.

Here you go Grenoble street art all of them related to love, however, sometimes in special, unusual way…;)

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Love gives you the “wings”..?
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make love, not war

 

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zebra’s love
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die for love?

daga

Less-than-perfect things about France

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Today, I created new category What surprises me in France with a content for everything else which come to my attention in this beautiful country.
Good or Bad.

I would like to speak about rather a sensitive topic- which is a behaviour of French people.
Please be aware that I’m married to a French guy and my new family is french as well and I do not write it lightly. This is just my personal- and subjective opinion.

Story no.1

A few days ago we went to a grand french shop where you can buy stuff for DIY to have a look & get an advice due we are going to refurbished our home.
(I’ve asked my husband to speak because I thought that in terms of technical details, is better if native speaks with native).
Anyway, we found a guy and politely asked him for a help.
His attitude was negative but he replied to our questions.
We asked for a quotation and in order to do it we needed to provide our address-so my husband said “Allee Fantin Latour“..and he started to laugh and said” which kind of street is that? I have never heard such strange name before“.. My husband spelt that for him but he still did not catch it and he started to complain about how strange streets names are in France.
I was surprised because he was French!
Then, the second guy from shop’s customer service, (I think he tried to defend us or just make it situation easier) replied (pretending, copying African accent of his college): “Well yeah, this is France, you don’t have only Rue des Platanes.”
And then our guy started to speak about some previous customer who had ( in his opinion) strange address: “rue de Eglise” (Church street)

(Seriously? Is Church Street a strange or funny name for a street? Or I just lost my sense of humour?)

Personally, I wanted to tell him that Fantin Latour was a French painter who was also born in this city. So, if I know that, what the hell he doesn’t? What he did at school? Well fine, arts is not his thing but why he doesn’t even know how to write it??

I spent years working in customer service environment for Polish, German, Swiss, Austrian, English, US and Irish customers in many countries and I haven’t seen such incompetency, disregard and unappropriated behaviour from customer service.

Finally, we have received our quotation but the whole situation left some kind of bad taste to me and I choose to use service from another company.
Two days later, having a coffee with one of my foreigner’s friends I told her story above, just as a bad example of customer service. How big was my surprise when she told me similar stories!

Story no.2
My Australian colleague went to a tea shop and asks for a strong black tea. The seller, ask her which kind of black tea so she said: ” I’m not a specialist here but maybe Earl Grey?”
And then seller started to laugh and asked:” from which part of the world you came from that you even don’t know that Earl Grey is not a strong tea??

I found it very rude.
Hey seller, it is an appropriate way to reply in this way to your potential customer? Do you care about your shop? Do you???

Finally, she didn’t buy any tea’s. She just left the shop.

But the worst story is yet to come. I heard from my Indian colleague.

Story no.3
She had an appointment/interview in Prefecture ( kind of council department) in order to prolongate her visa. She studied here, she speaks French very well. During the interview, they asked her about some everyday habits (or something like that) and she said: “I like yoghurt” (in French is yaourt).
Lady from visa department started to laugh and ask her to repeat word “yaourt” few times, telling her that she pronounces this one in a very funny way.
This same lady she called her colleague and when second women arrived, she asked her again to repeat “yaourt” and then they laughed again!
At the end, she said:” I’m sorry, we do not make fun of you, just your accent is funny, don’t be offended”.

How the hell she cannot be offended??
I was -just to listen to this history. My colleague said nothing (she felt offended) because she needed that visa.

But how low level of customer service in public institution represents these people?? How they can dare behave like this?
Do I have to remind that all those institutions are from our taxes! This lady’s salary comes from our taxes too!

Now, I’m thinking that no wonder that whole world thinks that french people are rude and I, a foreigner I was trying to defend them many times and fought with accusations.

I know, that 3 bad examples cannot say that whole France is against foreigners and all people are mean & rude. I realise that.
I met lots of very nice people here, and I believe is more good than bad people.

However, I can also see that lack or poor relations with customers is a significant problem in France. Lack of culture? It is really hard to say. But is bad for french PR. And bad for business.
Sometimes I think that French people don’t see the big picture. It is going to be bad for them if they don’t change their attitude & behaviour.

And You, what do you think?

Daga

 

La Fête Des Lumières, LYON 2017

Every year in Lyon, few nights before Christmas is organized Fête des Lumières (The Festival of Light).  For 4 nights sky is illuminate and looks like in a fairytale. This event was on my list for a long time and finally, we saw them. There were cold but very, very beautiful nights and we hope to that you will like it too!

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Les Pikooks
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Golden Hours
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Time for a light
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Enoha cinéma

smaller installations

 

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Les Lumignons Du Cœur

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I wish you all very merry Christmas, full of happiness, laughter and time spend with your dearest one!

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Daga

First snow!

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I’m back to Les Alpes 😉 Winter is coming..no wait winter is HERE!!

On first December we got our first snowfall of the season!

Maybe is not a big deal for you ..but for us, since we live dans les Alpes, is beautiful.

For me, a city girl who remember snow as an unpleasant obstacle while walking/ driving or something grey-ish, full of dirt half frozen – half-melted “thing”, this one was a  big surprise.

White, big flakes, fluffy and sparkling like a diamonds falling from the sky… no wind, no rain, just -2 degree and quiet snow.

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I could not resist and at first occasion, we just went for a hike.

 

 

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During our trip, we realized that we need 2 things: 1 chains for our winter tyres (some part of the roads are too dangerous) and snow racket.

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Luckily, it was possible to rent them at “L’espace nordique du barioz” for 2 euros(plus warm drink so was very convenient.

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Winter season is officially ON!!!!!!

 

 

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Daga

 

 

Monaco!

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Monaco.

Country of super-rich people in the world.  No taxes. No poverty.

If you are millionnaire do not hesitate, apply  for residence permit  and your money will be secured;)

If you aren’t…well, you can always visit!

 

Casino Monte Carlo – it is not like in Las Vegas: entrance is not free and  dress code is mandatory! (no jeans, shorts or sport shoes )

 

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Casino Monte-Carlo

Formula 1 race is old tradition of Monaco.Formula1.JPG

Prince’s Palace of Monaco is the official residence of the Sovereign Prince of Monaco.  (built in 1191 as a  fortress). You can pay a visit but pictures  are not allowed..

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Oceanographic Museum of Monaco is not only large aquariums with beautiful fish. Here you can touch the live shark, visit Bathyscaphe and also see fantastic panorama of Monaco  from the rooftop.

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Bathyscaphe

 

If you tired, is possible to hire one of those lovely boats and go on a cruise!

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this is luxourious & beautyful place:)

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Provence & Nice

Everybody in France wants to live on French Riviera. Seriously. They even made a movie  Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis  were people tried literally everything to just get job in south part of country… ( btw. movie is great comedy, it is a must to watch it!)

Anyways, autumn is here and days are shorter & darker  and I think we need some remaining of  warm & sunny days.

This time instead of mountains I prepared  few pictures from- Côte d’Azur from our first stop:  region de Provence & Nice.  (I promised to upload more pictures from another  places of French Riviera shortly).

We have visited Provence in June. After 3 hours of driving, lavender fields showed up…

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smell of it was in the air, very fragrant…

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… After we arrived to Nice:) City have welcomed us with heat wave of 31 degrees!DSC_2543

sun, blue sky &sea :))  Promenade des AnglaisDSC_2571

Very famous Hotel Le Negresco

 

 

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Fountains….(kids just loved it! )

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…and waterfalls;)

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Some folklore ….pigeons & watermelon and camel.. on the balcony…

Nice harbour…and promenade;)

 

more pictures soon…!