France (Marseille streets)

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One evening, before the restaurants opened, we wandered around Marseille in the Le Panier section of the city. The streets were alive with families playing and socializing before heading inside for the evening. This city is gritty and real, but has an appealing esthetic quality. I loved the pastel shades of the houses and window stutters. Every narrow street had a story to tell.

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France (doorways w/vines)

La Redorte, France

La Redorte, France

Let’s go back to our recent trip to southern France. Among the gazillion pictures Rob and I took of doors and windows, there are more than a few which feature trained leaf vines and other plants. It was so odd to see vegetation growing out of the pavement, with no dirt in sight. I love the way a bit of greenery frames and softens the straight angles on the buildings.

Carcassonne, France

Carcassonne, France

MillePetit, France

Mille Petit, France

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Argen, France

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Argen, France

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La Redorte, France

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La Redorte, France

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Bram, France

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Marseilles, France

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Marseilles, France

France (lock houses)

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During our visit to France, we spent a week navigating a barge along the Canal du Midi. There were were many locks to go through and each had a cute  lock house, all with signature red tile roofs, and green doors and shutters.

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The canal was beautiful, with tall plane trees arching over, creating a shaded waterway. Our excursion included 18 friends from home, 9 couples who were divided into 3 boats. The barges were like floating Winnebagos, with accommodations for sleeping, cooking and eating aboard. Like renting a camper, you are given a key and simple instructions and off you go! Some of us rode bikes along the side path, faster than the barges, which puttered along at 5 miles an hour.

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Each lock had a keeper who operated the lock, which in this case lowered us down.

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I was so taken with the charming lock houses! The canal took us to several towns and villages, which I’ll be showing in future posts.

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walk around Edgartown

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The island of Martha’s Vineyard is just a few miles off the coast of Woods Hole, but it seems far away, like a separate, insular territory. People are often surprised by its size, 30 miles long, with a half-dozen towns. We like to drive our motor boat over at least once a summer. This time we went to Edgartown, which usually has moorings available for a few hours and the added bonus of a public launch service that takes you to and from your boat in the harbor.

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Each town on the island has its own character, from pastoral to gritty. Edgartown is sort of upscale touristy, with lots of high-end shops and manicured properties. It’s pretty, but almost too well-kept up to feel real.  Edgartown5

We watched the car ferry make its way across the narrow channel to Chappaquiddick Island. Imagine having to travel this way every time you want to go to the main island.

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That’s Chappaquiddick, where the ferry docks on the other side.

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There are bicycles everywhere! Car traffic is bad, so traveling by bike is preferred. It was a beautiful day and we had a nice time before getting back to our boat and heading home across the water. I hope that you enjoy this little photo tour of our visit!

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Ireland 2013 (street scenes)

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We had lunch in a different town every day, but the pub lunch was basically the same– delicious pureed vegetable soup and brown bread! Here are some of the towns we visited in Ireland. I can’t remember all of their names, but they’re located in the central western  area. It was so refreshing to travel around without seeing a single strip mall or bill board.

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