Morning photo: Postcards from France

A week in Provence …

FRISCO —I’m not quite ready to move to Provence for year, but one could definitely tarry here for a few weeks or months, at least. There’s plenty to explore, and not just vineyards. Just off the shore of Hyéres is a group of car-free islands that have been set aside as a national park. It’s rare to find much undeveloped land along the Côte d’Azur, so taking the ferry across to Porquerolles was a chance to see what the area looked like before it was completely over-developed for tourism. More info later in a travel story, but for now, a few postcards.

Morning photo: Market day

En Provence …

BRIGNOLES —Spending a few days in a small, non-tourist town in southern France isn’t all bad. In fact, it’s pretty darn good to hang out and try to blend in. So in the evenings, I wander to the main square and listen, trying to let the melodic language flow back into my brain before trying to start up a basic conversation. I need to brush up quick — my friend, Pierre, is 93, and he still has a lot he wants to tell me, starting with the age of Napoleon, right on through to the hot debates about immigration policy, which is playing out here in a big way, as the tiny community rapidly diversifies with an influx of people, primarily from northern Africa.

But Saturday was market day, so we left politics aside and enjoyed an early morning stroll to the town square for a quick shot of very black coffee, then to market place beyond, where vendors from around the region offered up a bounty of fruit and vegetables at the peak of the harvest season. Enjoy the sights of southern France!

Morning photo: Window seat!

‘Not all who wander are lost’

FRISCO —This summer’s trip has been a little different so far. I’m missing my travel companions, Leigh and Dylan, with whom I’ve shared some amazing adventures all over the world the past few years. For the first time in a while, I left Colorado by myself to join part of my family in Linz, Austria, where my mom grew up. A big part of this trip was to be there to accompany mom’s sister, my aunt Erika, safely back from Austria to her home in France. She and her husband Pierre were inveterate travelers, but both are in their 90s now, so it’s not always easy for them to get around. But we made it safely, even during a pretty extreme mid-summer heatwave and are now enjoying a cool glass of rosé from a family vineyard on the patio of their 200-year old house. I’m brushing up on my French and enjoying just being with two people who have seen so much in their lives, and who radiate contentment and calm.

Morning photo: Euro set

Have passport, will travel!


FRISCO —Sunday is the traditional day for travel sections in print newspapers, so every now and then I get the urge to post some travel-related content on this “day of rest.” Most of our readers these days know Summit Voice as a source for environmental news, but long-time followers know that, every now and then, we like to mix it up with tales of adventure and discovery in far-away places, like the time we enjoyed mystery meat and talking bumblebees on the Dutch island of Texel, or rambled through the mountains of Albania. Check out all our travel content here, and for daily photography updates, follow our Instagram feed, and visit our online gallery for an amazing selection of prints and greeting cards.

Morning Photo: Village scenes

Bigger than a hamlet, smaller than a town …

The town square in Brignoles, France.

SUMMIT COUNTY — There are always some semantics involved when it comes to determining what, exactly, a village is. The dictionary is not much help, most often describing a village as “bigger than a hamlet, smaller than a town.” Can anyone name an actual “hamlet,” please? In the end, I think village-ness is more a state of mind that anything else … Continue reading

Travel: Taking a moment in the Midi-Pyrénées

A week in rural France with an old friend in a new home

My hosts for a week, Lina and Stephane, walk through the center of La Terrisse at night. The rural town is in the Midi-Pyrénées region near the border with Spain.

Story and photos by Garrett Palm

We rushed to get to the waterfall before the sun completely set. We had intended to get there much earlier, but our day in the rural Midi-Pyrénées region of France had been more enjoyable than efficient. The last few minutes of dusk and the dense forest around the little village of La Terrisse already made it hard to see. I stumbled on wet stones as the trail and the creek occasionally converged.

The trail passed through a small hut partly hanging over the creek, where I stopped for a second to admire the carvings in the untreated wood and benches above the water. It looked like a nice place to spend some time, but the dog and two kittens that joined us on our hike played in the creek upstream as they waited for us to catch up. The little patches of sky visible through the trees grew darker.

The pets lived with my host’s friends, Gwladys and Fred, a name combination I sometimes feel I made up, and their two young daughters, Tchenrezie and Isis, 4 and 2 years old, respectively. This whole family lives in a mud structure they built themselves in a clearing on a nearby hillside.

The mud home of Gwladys and Fred and their family on the edge of the forest.

Continue reading

Morning photo: Streetscapes

… from around the world

Ancient walls and tile roofs in Brignoles, France in an image that was cropped, over-saturated and enhanced with added contrast to highlight the textures and funky geometry.

SUMMIT COUNTY — Urban photography is a challenge for me. I’m more at home in the woods, on a beach or in the mountains, but every now and then, when Leigh and I travel, we enjoy exploring some of the nooks and crannies that might not be on a tourist map. Continue reading

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 8,774 other followers