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PARIS was the high point of my recent, and first, trip to Europe.
We flew into Barcelona for a week then Paris for the second week and then on to the south of France for our third and final week. I loved Barcelona but Paris was the winner for me.
Clichés are true so I must say I felt homesick for Paris from the day I arrived. I've already booked a second visit. I'll stay in Paris for the month of September and I'll be out shooting every day. The plan is to get out before dawn and after dark too. I might get to photobomb Michael Kenna.
My grandfather went to Paris for the first and only time when he was about sixty. He said there was a Rue Trébert then, but I can't find it now. He was a French (Canadian) speaker, a painter and he smoked and drank too much. Maybe they named that street after him!
There's a picture anywhere you look. For my landscapes here in The Blue Mountains, I use a Nikon D800E and Zeiss lenses. But I didn't want to lug that heavy kit around on holiday, so I used a Canon S100 - a great little camera. I've recently bought an Olympus E-M1, a compact, feature-rich camera which is perfect for travel.
BARCELONA, capital of the province of Catalunya, was vibrant and fascinating. We saw maybe one Spanish flag in Barcelona, but we saw many Catalunyan flags, and very many of two different types of Catalunyan separatist flag. There were two hanging from balcony railings across from my bedroom window in El Born. Bullfighting was recently banned in Catalunya. The independent spirit which has produced so many of Spain's iconoclastic artists lives on.
We made a couple of day trips, to Girona and to Dali's home town of Figueres. I'm not a great fan of Dali the man, but our family group wanted to see the museum there. The day before flying out, we dropped by Sitges, a beach town just southwest of Barcelona.
Here are a couple of pics of detail in one of Mr Gaudi's masterworks - The Casa Batilo. I love the way he gave contributing craftspeople so much responsibility and freedom. Many were obviously mature artists, but because of the enormous amount of detailed work required of them, many more must have become artists in their own right.