Thursday doors #56

Today we’re local with doors from nearby Cannes, Nice and Monte Carlo. Luckily for me there’s never a shortage of doors to photograph.

First up, two from Monte Carlo:-

Two doors from Nice Old Town that are quite close to one another.

Here are the final two from Cannes:-

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favourite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments’ on Norm’s site, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American Eastern Time).

Thursday doors #55

We return to Paris, this time to the Père-Lachaise Cemetery where there are doors aplenty!

Architect Alexandre-Théodore Brongniart won the commission to design the cemetery, a prestigious honour never before bestowed on either an architect or landscape designer. No expense was spared and no extravagance overlooked in creating the winding streets of this citiscape which became a revolutionary concept in memorial parks, with statuary, chapels, and mausoleums designed by the leading artisans of the day, rivaling works in both museums and private collections.

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favourite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments’ on Norm’s site, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American Eastern Time).

Thursday doors #54

Here are a few more doors from Bordeaux and Saint Emilion:-

 

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favourite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments’ on Norm’s site, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American Eastern Time).

Thursday doors #53

Here’s more French doors, this time from the Bordeaux area where we enjoyed a few days’ break last autumn.

 

 

 

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favourite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments’ on Norm’s site, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American Eastern Time).

Thursday doors #52

With Paris being such fertile territory for doors, here are a few more:-

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favourite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments’ on Norm’s site, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American Eastern Time).

Thursday doors #51

With Paris being such fertile territory for doors, here are a few more:-

 

 

 

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favourite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments’ on Norm’s site, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American Eastern Time).

Thursday doors #50

Paris is, of course, a veritable treasure trove for doors. If I lived there I could probably just post pictures of doors every day for years. These are ones which caught my eye on our trip last October. As in last week’s from Milan, I was often thwarted by badly parked vehicles or traffic as I tried to take my photos from a suitable vantage point.

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favourite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments’ on Norm’s site, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American Eastern Time).

Thursday doors #47

Today, my last door post of 2019, I’m featuring those doors photographed on my most recent trip to Nice. The wrought iron and glass doors are typical of those found on apartment blocks all over France. These were all along the rue de France, as is the last door though that one belongs to a church.

Never fear, I shall be back in 2020 with even more doors! Meanwhile, I’ll be indulging in my regular seasonal post “12  Days of Christmas” featuring some of my favourite photos of 2019.

 

Thursday Doors is a weekly feature allowing door lovers to come together to admire and share their favourite door photos from around the world. Feel free to join in the fun by creating your own Thursday Doors post each week and then sharing your link in the comments’ on Norm’s site, anytime between Thursday morning and Saturday noon (North American Eastern Time).

Holiday photos: day 8

Our trip to Bordeaux did not get off to an auspicious start as we were delayed by traffic jams caused by roadworks and accidents. I had booked a small, charming, B&B that had excellent ratings on booking.com for the next five nights. I had some slight concern as I’d been unable to contact them to reserve either a parking spot or advise them of our late arrival.

Our plan had been to arrive well before the start of the France v Belgium game and then head out to see Lenny Kravitz who was in town. Well, the best laid plans and all that saw us arrive at the B&B at half-time, after listening to the match commentary on the radio, only to find no one was home. We again tried to contact them to no avail and finally found another small hotel nearby for the night.

We watched the last 15 minutes of the game and then the hotel owner broke out the bubbles – how nice! I sent a few pithy emails of complaint to booking.com and we decided not to book another hotel until we’d slept on it. After an exceedingly good night’s sleep we decided to stay on at the small hotel for a couple of days. I hope Lenny wasn’t too disappointed that we were “no shows.”

Postscript: Chapeau to booking.com: profuse apologies plus offer to reimburse us for any additional costs.

Anticipation

Can you feel it? It’s almost here. I’m talking about the Tour de France, in many minds the high point of the cycling season. We’ve had months of anticipation, merely heightened since the end of the Giro d’Italia. We’re now eagerly awaiting the battle of the big six (Aru, Bardet, Contador, Froome, Porte and Quintana) who have plenty of pretenders young and old nipping at their heels. Speculation has been fevered, who will win what could be one of the most hotly contested and eagerly awaited Tours since………last year.

It’s true each Tour is eagerly awaited by its legion of fans while the riders are chomping at the bit, happy to see the back of the endless press conferences and presentations. I’ve witnessed countless riders patiently answer the same set of questions, some in a multitude of languages, time and time again. Pros to their cores, responding to each and every question with smiles on their faces.

Of course, I’m still a relative newcomer to the sport, my first Tour was 2004 ahead of our permanent move to France. I’ve been watching stages live since 2006 when I saw the same stage that had earlier been undertaken by my beloved on l’Etape du Tour. In truth my interest really ramped up when I was given a priviledged glimpse behind the scenes in 2012. I accompanied a friend who was reporting for Eurosport and witnessed the first British winner on the Champs Elysees. It was magnificent. But more than that it gave me an appreciation of the fantastic job done by ASO who make everything work like clockwork throughout the three-week juggernaut as it careers around France. I tried to find an analogy and the only thing I could come up with was organising 21 royal weddings in succession, but all in different locations.

This fantastic infographic, courtesy of ASO, explains why.


Dusseldorf will be my sixth Grand Depart after my first in London. Back in 2007, cycling was regarded somewhat quizzically by the British public. But it was free and everyone had been cooped up inside thanks to three weeks of rain, so why not? That was the start of Britain’s love affair with cycling which has since taken off into the stratosphere, particularly since 2012 and the Tour’s first British winner which, coincidentally, gave me bragging rites down at the cycle club.

In many ways, London set the pattern for my attendance at subsequent departs. I like to walk some or all of the prologue/opening time-trial route to understand where it would be best to watch the race. More importantly, I like to check out the facilities. Am I near to toilets, refreshments and a big screen? Yes, then that’s three big fat ticks. The greater my level of pre-race planning, the greater my enjoyment of the event on the day. In Dusseldorf, I note from the website, I will have the option of splashing out Euros 675.00 for a fully catered VIP view!

I was an insider in 2009 at le Grand Depart in Monaco where my range of linguistic skills got me a gig looking after Prince Albert’s guests, initially in his air conditioned pavilion with refreshments on tap, and then in the VIP Tribune, which afforded me a ringside view of the opening time-trial. That was special, particularly as Prince albert went round and personally thanked all of the volunteers. It isn’t every day a girl gets kissed on the cheeks by a Prince!

In 2014 I was blown away by the crowds in Yorkshire and have to commend the organisers for the facilities laid on for the thousands of people who turned out to watch. That was a tough one for Utrecht to emulate in 2015 but I think it rose to the challenge and got bonus points for a free team presentation –  Yorkshire’s was ticketed. Utrecht, like Dusseldorf this year, made use of its excellent exhibition facilities.

Last year’s Le Grand Depart took place in Normandy and gave us the opportunity for a trip down memory lane, visiting an area in Brittany we hadn’t been to for 20 years. It also meant we were able to visit a few places on the way there and back, such as the Loire, which we’d not visited before. It turned out to be a wholly delightful and restful break. We’re always saying cycling takes us to places we might not otherwise visit.

But, as mentioned earlier, the key to attending any Grand Depart, is plenty of forward planning and preparation. For example, I always book my hotels well in advance, usually at least nine month’s ahead – early birds, worms and all that. I generally try to avoid hotels that might be used for accommodating teams, though am not always successful. This year we’ll be at the same hotel as Astana, Bahrain Merida and Dimension Data as we’ve elected to stay adjacent to the exhibition centre. Typically, we’ll stay midway between the first couple of stages so as not to have to change hotels too frequently.

My beloved often meets with clients in the days running up to Le Grand Depart where he’ll be primed and on duty with his camera ready to capture all the action at the start. We’ve learnt over the years that it’s easier just to go to the stage starts as it’s often well nigh impossible to get to both start and finish. Rather than stress too much, we opt for the start, locate somewhere for lunch after the peloton has departed and generally make it a fun day out. We watch the finish on the television in our hotel. I’ve oft thought in the past that it would be great to follow the Tour for the entire three weeks. With advancing age has come greater wisdom. It’s a punishing routine and it’s much better to dip in and out of the race route. that’s what we’ll be doing again this year.