My middle day in Marseille starts rough, feeling scattered and not eating enough. But olives, dates, and baguette from the street market and boulangerie will have to do, as I’m on a mission for Les Calanques by afternoon. I take my new dress and scarf with the food and head out with my host as […]Read more "Les Calanques – Ariadne and the infinite sea"
When i wake, the first light of the sun passes through a gap in the range of rolling hills. Green fields with creeks and oak groves become slowly visible. The isilines bus stops near Montelimar, at an oak-lined rest area, and the air feels cool yet dry. I had slept deeply. Around 11 am, the […]Read more "Marseille – Mediterranean gritty euphoria"
Paris is an awesome city, and of all its great places, nowhere was a day more well spent than cemetery Père Lachaise, la grande ville des morts. From the metro stop I accidentally walked into the Jardin Samuel de Champlain, on the cemetery’s east side, enchanted by a statue on the outside wall…a woman, arms […]Read more "Cemetery Père Lachaise – A realm beyond Paris/ a day with the greats"
On the last day of my tour in Belgium, my cousin planned a visit with a relative who lives in Spa. Until this trip, I thought of a spa as a high-society healing center, refined and removed from nature. Now i understand it is a town of mineral springs, acid fountains, in the Ardennes forest […]Read more "Ceci n’est pas un Spa – Spa, Belgium"
Another place in Brussels worth visiting is the Marché du Midi (zuidmarkt) by the Midi train station (midi = south like in France). It’s on Sundays from morning until 1 or 2 pm and takes up both sides of the station; the biggest in Belgium and one of the bigger street markets in Europe. Like […]Read more "Marché du Midi, the new Brussels"
An hour or so west from Brussels by road lies Ghent, important and prosperous medieval market city and now university town with historic center. There are several places here I wanted to visit, and these would consume most of a day. Being flat land and closer to the North sea, this area has a changeable, […]Read more "Ghent/Gent, Belgium – torture and trade inspire gothic arts"
I flew with Norwegian direct from Los Angeles to Paris on one of their 787 dream liner planes. We were really light and there was turbulence over the plains. But we flew far north as the light came and i had good dreams, when i woke it was afternoon. It felt like less than 10 […]Read more "Paris and Brussels, arrival"