Near the end of our time in France, we drove down to Aix-en-Provence to see some of the places Elesa's parents saw in their early days, have lunch with the Best Man from their wedding and to see another area of France. The drive down on the highway wasn't all that exciting, but the city itself is quite nice. We were only there for one night, but arrived at lunch time which was early enough to walk a bit around in the afternoon and evening, and then a little bit more in the morning.
Anciano Placo dóu Marcat - Aix-en-Provence, France
Lavender - Aix-en-Provence, France
Virgin and Child - Cathédrale Saint-Sauveur d'Aix-en-Provence
One of the things I really like "on the continent" are the markets. The array of fruits and vegetables and just "stuff" is amazing. The markets here, at least the ones near us, are dedicated to locally grown fruits and veggies and locally produced products, so most of the stalls are prepared foods. The prepared foods (and cheese....I love the cheese!) we've found to be excellent. However, there really aren't a lot of oranges for instance, grown in the U.K. so I've come to the conclusion that I really can't rely on the markets as a source for produce. Whereas the markets in Belgium a couple months back, and France a couple weeks ago, were a cornucopia of fruits and veggies from all over the E.U.
Following on the heels of India, I spent about 10 days in France with my wife and her sister. Most of that was in a "Gite" on a vineyard just south of Beaune. I'll start with some photos of the vineyards.
Lodi Gardens isn't on the UNESCO World Heritage List, but I'd heard and seen good things about it and it is convenient to Humayun's Tomb, so I stopped by and took a walk through the park after visiting the Tomb. It is a peaceful place, but it was getting pretty hot by mid-day. There really weren't all that many people around, considering how nice the park is. These are the last of the photos from my visit to India. The full set can be seen on photobucket as a slideshow HERE but at least for now the slide show has no annotations. I'm so far behind that it is unlikely it will have them anytime soon.
Bara Gumbad Tomb, Lodi Gardens - Delhi, India
Women Carrying Bundles of Sticks, Lodi Gardens - Delhi, India
Inside the Domes of the Mosque at Bara Gumbad Tomb, Lodi Gardens - Delhi, India
By the third day I was smarter, and tired of heat. The last major thing on my list was Qutub (aka Qutb, Qutab) Minar, the last of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Delhi. I planned pretty well and at this point I realized why some of the things opened at 6 am. So I dragged my butt out of bed and took a taxi out to Qutub Minar, getting there before 6:30 am, before any other visitors, and before the heat. As I walked up to the gate there were multiple big signs "No Bags, Backpacks" but the gate attendant took one look at my pale face, the huge camera and just waved me through past the metal detectors. Most of the time I was the only visitor there. Here are some of the photos.
Spent a chunk of the next day checking out the Red Fort and walking back through old Delhi past Jama Masjid ( जामा मस्जिद ) and the surrounding market stalls. The Red Fort is the second of the three UNESCO World Heritage sites I visited in Delhi....and wandering around in the heat of the day encouraged me to go very early the next day to the third site. You'll have to wait for those photos :)
Inlaid Design Details, Diwan-i-Khas - Red Fort, Delhi, India
Moti Masjid, aka Pearl Mosque - Red Fort, Delhi, India
Columns and Shade - Red Fort, Delhi, India
Colors of India, Red Fort - Delhi, India
The Red Fort - Delhi
View of Jama Madjid Through The Market Stalls - Delhi, India