Bayonne, Saint Jean Pied de Port, Pau

During the middle portion of our trip to France, Diane and I travelled by train to southwest France. Our first stop was in Bayonne. We walked the old part of town, where one section of the outer walls was built by the Romans, visited the gothic cathedral and the Basque museum, before having dinner along the riverfront.

An interior view of the  Cathedral de Sainte-Marie in Bayonne.
An interior view of the Cathedral de Sainte-Marie in Bayonne.
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There are many choices for riverfront dining along the Nive River in Bayonne.

The next day another train took us up into the Pyrenees Mountains to the town of Saint Jean Pied de Port. This is where many people start the El Camino de Santiago, also called the way of Saint James. It is an ancient pilgrimage route that crosses 500 miles of northern Spain. Diane wanted to check it out, as she wants to hike it next year. There are many things to see in town, including the Bishop’s Prison Museum, a Roman bridge, and the citadel on the hill, to name a few. We even found a potter’s studio to visit. Lunch by the river, followed by a shuttle van ride to our next stop.

A pilgrim preparing to start the El Camino takes a photograph from the Citadel overlooking Saint Jean Pied de Port.  The scallop shell on his pack is the traditional sign of a pilgrim.
A pilgrim preparing to start the El Camino takes a photograph from the Citadel overlooking Saint Jean Pied de Port. The scallop shell on his pack is the traditional sign of a pilgrim.
A potter's studio in Saint Jean Pied de Port.
A potter’s studio in Saint Jean Pied de Port.

We spent the next two nights in Pau. The walled old city overlooks the nearby Pyrenees. The chateau where Henry IV was born is the prime place to visit, parts of which go back to Roman times. Plenty of places to shop and dine.

Tapestries and carved wood decorate a royal bedroom in the Château de Pau.
Tapestries and carved wood decorate a royal bedroom in the Château de Pau.

FRANCE!

This fall, Diane and I spent ten days in France.  We were visiting our friends Richard and Robert, who live in Paris.  After a few days in the city, we went on a train trip with them to southwest France- Basque territory in the Pyrenees.  We spent a night in Bayonne, took another train up into the mountains to the small town of Saint Jean-Pied-de-Port, then a van ride to Pau, where we spent two nights.  Another train ride brought us back to Paris for a few more nights.

Paris

During the days in Paris, we spent a lot of time walking, and on two of the days, I explored on my own.  Not speaking french was challenging, but not really that bad.  With maps and Metro tickets I got to see much of the central city.

Flower-filled planters cover most of the front steps of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Paris.
Flower-filled planters cover most of the front steps of the Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Paris.
Autumn leaves fill the water of the Medici Fountain, next to the Luxembourg Palace in Paris.
Autumn leaves fill the water of the Medici Fountain, next to the Luxembourg Palace in Paris.
One of the four statues topping pillars at the ends of the Pont Alexandre III.
One of the four statues topping pillars at the ends of the Pont Alexandre III.

WILD TURKEY

While I was at my son’s house this weekend, the neighborhood turkeys stopped by.  Not shy at all.  As I photographed one of them, it became agressive, loud, started pecking at the lens shade of my telephoto lens.  I backed up slowly, and reached in my truck for a piece of pipe.  No- I didn’t hit it, I am a nature photographer.  But it did take the hint and rejoined the rest.  This image is of one of the others, and as you can see it wasn’t bothered by the action going on around it.

Resting up before the Thanksgiving Dash!

FOXES!

A fox kit nuzzles up to its mother.

One of my father’s neighbors called to let me know that a family of foxes was living under his toolshed. After a  couple of days of watching and slowly building trust with the foxes, I was able to see that there are five kits.  These pictures were taken from an open kichen window.

FLORIDA WILDLIFE

Just back from a trip to Florida and a few days in Puerto Rico.  The tropical warmth and sunny weather were fantastic.  While in southern Florida for six days, I was amazed at the ease of photographing wildlife.  Before I reached the highway when leaving the airport in Fort Myers, I had already seen turkey vultures and two deer.  And it just got better.  From the man-made pond in our friends’ back yard, to the Venice waterfront, Ding Darling wildlife refuge and the beach at Sanibel, and a couple of state parks, the images of birds, reptiles, insects and dolphins just kept coming.  It makes working on wildlife photography here on Cape Cod feel very frustrating!An adult brown pelican works to swallow a fish.

 

To see the rest of my Florida wildlife photos, click here-  http://preuphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery/Florida-Wildlife/G0000HTTvDZNG4jk

Sharp-shinned Hawk

I came upon this hawk purely by chance.  While backing-up my truck,  I saw something with my peripheral vision.  Most people would have missed it, but I am always distracted by the unexpected.  When seeing something like this, I am reminded how glad I am to be at the top of the local food chain, and not looking over my shoulder like a squirrel!

After the hawk was finished, there was little more than a pile of feathers…

Other Places

Even though my main area of interest is photographing the natural beauty of Cape Cod, I always bring my camera.  I have a new gallery on my website in which I will post some of my favorite images from the rest of my world.  http://preuphoto.photoshelter.com/gallery/Other-Places/G0000bClIw_Ri59s

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