At last the French holiday post which as you can see I actually started when still there!
Having got to day four of our trip so far we have been to our local small town of Parthenay, the Marais, a marshland with inland waterways and picturesque villages, and La Rochelle a medieval port on the Atlantic coast. I have taken very few pictures! Only 265 Why? On a weekend on the Isle of Wight I often take several hundred, why not here?
Perhaps it is because everything is new yet familiar; pretty houses, stone walls, flowers. New because I have not been to this exact location before, familiar because I have been to many similar places. Some of the best views are panoramic, I can't do these justice without a wide angle lens. Anyway my passion is for the small view, the detail, the sacred in the ordinary.
This is the first time I have been on holiday with my new camera, the first time I have tried to make a distinction between 'holiday snaps' which perhaps can be seen as photos of record of the 'I was here' variety and something I am more emotionally engaged with.
I think this is also related to one’s phase of life and the law of diminishing returns. The first time we took a car to France was in 1976. We were living in Cornwall at the time so we landed in Roscoff and drove first to the Dordogne with its beautiful medieval villages then on via the Corniche de Cevennes to Provence where we stayed for a few days before driving home. I was a fabulous holiday everything was new and interesting. I had previously only been to Paris, Belgium and Austria all of which were very different - there were photo opportunities galore, novelty ruled.
During the nineties and noughties we visited various parts of Europe with our son, seeing familiar places and scenes afresh through his eyes, and visiting some attractions that might otherwise have passed us by. Though happily for us he was always very keen on castles and other old buildings (now reading history at university). Now when we travel in familiar parts of Europe it does feel a bit, been there, done that, still nice, but subject to the law of diminishing returns.
On son joined us for the last few days of our holiday and I realized this was the only point at which we paid to go in anywhere (this was partly because we had saved one of the key trips until he arrived). So we visited the maritime museum at La Rochelle the day of his arrival followed by Fontevraud and Chateau de Breze the following day. I like to think this was partly because we were not in an area with loads of major attractions, but rather lots of pleasant places to visit, but I think we will need to keep an eye on ourselves during our next trip abroad!