Tag Archives: city

Whistle-stop France

I have to say, I do love France, I do, I do, I DO. I love the life, the style, the lifestyle. I love the people, the countryside and the weather. The love fails me, however, as soon as I get to the traffic (taxi strikes all over the place!). And, although it shocks me slightly to say this, the bistrot/restau food can be a bit indifferent. Blimey, I had to pause and reconsider when I wrote that sentence, but its true!

Banks of the Saone

Lovers on the banks of the Saone


Admittedly a whistle-stop business tour isn’t the best way to see everything. But good for snippets. Lyon is just delightful. How a big city should be. Lovers on the banks of the rivers. Marseille has vibrant character – a pastis in the Vieux Port and you can still hear Pagnol in the background.

Vieux Port view

Vieux Port view

Masts in the water

Masts in the water


Nantes is my favourite. Especially here at Le Chateau de la Garnison, an idyllic escape from the big city, wonderful service, lovely country-chic rooms, and the best breakfast I’ve had for years. So idyllic we had to have a ping pong tournament (…) Here are the other two battling it out for second place.

Chateau de la Garnison

Chateau de la Garnison

Second and third place wiff waffers

Second and third place wiff waffers

And then Paris. Where the traffic doesn’t move until about midnight, and I had to lots of iPhone trickery to get some perception of speed… And the food is indifferent and expensive. Rip off wine and cheeky service.

A blur, after midnight.

A blur, after midnight.

Go taxi, go...., please go!

Go taxi, go…., please go!


Ooops, the Opera looks like it’s falling down. Get me back to Nantes, double quick!


Wobble photo

Wobble photo


Like France? Check out wine in the Dordogne or champagne in Champagne and if you’re not bothered by booze, how about scorpions in the Luberon!

Church, Kissing, High heels and Vodka. Must be Kiev!!!

I love these eastern cities, they are raw and vibrant, and desperate to have a good time. And beautiful too!

St Sofia church

Spot the Saints…

Built originally in the 11th century.

I noticed this in St Petersburg too – everyone seems to be snogging. Couples just can’t get enough of each other, and they’re not too bothered about privacy. I know Doisneau had to fake his photo of the couple kissing by the Hotel de Ville in Paris, but in Kiev there is no need to fake. Just point the camera…

(next to the Church)

(on top of the statue)

the full tongue and throat in front of the river view!

Kiev(ians) clearly don’t want to hide away. Everything is on display. Especially the girls – high heels are ubiquitous, and being dressed up as if your off clubbing is considered normal. Great for street photography!

standard uniform here…

everyday wear!

Short skirts de rigeur…

There was some great graffiti, rather risqué, and not all of it suitable for this blog. Adds to the electric feel of the city.

Swords and flowers and chain-mail???

Of course, a visit to Kiev is bound to end with some serious vodka drinking, and the inevitable raucous evening party (followed by hang-over meeting the following morning). One of the group below didn’t actually make it to the meeting the next day. S/He will remain nameless, but you know who you are!

He’s a Kiss fan…

Lining them up!

These two smuggled their drinks onto the bus…

Alcoholic halo…

Impromptu piano playing…

And the girls looking worse for wear

And the party went on, but we’ll draw a veil over it there!

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Streetwalking, in Perugia.

Italian cities are beautiful. And in Umbria they are pretty deserted too, which makes them very photogenic. This is Perugia, and it’s very lovely.

The town hall steps

Photographers always go on about dawn light. Soft, cool, beautiful. And very few people to get in the way. This is a series of pictures I took between 6 and 7am whilst wandering around the streets of Perugia last week, almost alone. Heaven.

6am, and empty.

Occasionally someone would wander into my picture. But I quite liked that. So I fired the shutter and left them in my shots.

Early morning light

Imagine if this was your front door. Someone is lucky enough to live here. Really.

Clearing shadows.

Perugia is a student town. The lucky devils. I want to be 18 again and study here…

The daily grind

Off to work, through the arches, towards the light. Not a bad way to start the day…

The rush hour

Summer has arrived in Lisbon!

Portugal is a lovely country, and Lisbon a very beautiful city, full of charm and nostalgia.

I’ve been travelling with work again, and after a conference and a series of research groups, I’ve managed to grab a few hours in the city before my flight returns to the UK. Street wandering is a great way to kill those hours. And, although it’s only April, Lisbon is already delighting in 30 centigrade, so everyone’s got a smile on their faces. No sign of economic worries just now!

Why am I so rubbish at preparing for these business trips? I’ve come in completely the wrong clothes – everyone else is in shorts, t-shirts and flips, and I’ve got a suit, heavy jeans and long-sleeved shirts. Typical! The inevitable consequence of rushing out of the house and just chucking a load of clothes in a suitcase. Why don’t I check the forecast?!?! My colleagues: Kerri, Joanne and David are always prepared. Correct attire for every situation. I wonder how big their suitcases are… Never mind – being hot is better than being cold.

These are pics from the walk up to the Castle of St Jorge. Cobbled streets, still lived in by the locals. Cute cafes and restaurants everywhere. Grilled sardines, salad and a beer is a good way to spend a Friday lunchtime! Here in Portugal Friday also seems to be washing day…

And I love these steps everywhere. They’re not grandiose or pompous, but rather intimate with the tall colourful buildings protecting them. Very romantic.

So, back to the airport, and off to the chilly North. Next time, I’m coming back to Lisbon with my wife!!!