D-Day – Normandy, France
While my blog often focuses on visits to magnificent churches, buildings, and tea destinations, our desire to travel has been inspired by world history. With World War II as one area of interest, my friend Dorene and I visited the Normandy beaches a few weeks after the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Beginning with the powerful experience of seeing the museum, memorial, and graves at the American Cemetery, we then followed the path down to Omaha Beach. This descent brings to mind haunting images of servicemen trudging up the terrain in the midst of battle and the many who did not survive.
The cool and windy day left me unwilling to remove my shoes and socks, but Dorene, who shares her interest in World War II with her father, not only walked barefoot in the sand, but also lingered at the water’s edge, communing with one of the sites where the world changed 70 years ago.
Near Utah Beach is the village of Ste Mère Église. In the early hours of June 6, 1944, paratroopers were dropped here and at other inland areas in part to secure roads and bridges before the assault on the beaches. Along with using a dummy to recreate the famous moment when John Steele’s parachute got caught on one of the spires, the church in Ste Mère Église commemorates D-Day with two stained glass windows. A 16-year-old boy, who was 14 when the paratroopers arrived, designed this one.
The death toll during the next several months was high for Normandy’s civilians (20,000+). Yet 70 years later, the ever-present tributes to D-Day speak to the meaning of liberation.
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The Tea and Scone Hop
Great post!! :)
It was taken Paris by myself in the middle of the heatwave of August 2013. I spent a weekend exploring the streets with my Olympus XZ-1. It was around 8am, and I had just emerged from République metro station. It was already swelteringly hot, and the waters of the fountain looked so inviting. The weary traveller in my photograph had removed her shoes, and although she is dozing, her foot is just edging towards that water…. Her red item of clothing, bag and boots almost mimic the posture of the woman herself. Her boots look like they may take the plunge too!
Great capture! :)
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As I write this post I realize that cigarette break has a double meaning: it can mean to have a break in order to smoke a cigarette, but it can also mean to take a break from smoking cigarettes.
I happen to be in the second category this time, as I haven`t been smoking for months now and I can`t even remember how I quitted.
However, there are a lot of people smoking in this post and you may want to take a look at the photos below to see this.
Great shots! :)
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Someone I Once Met: The Girl Who Swapped Lives
One evening a friend and I were standing in line to watch British artist Tinie Tempah at a small venue in Portland, USA. Two friendly locals started chatting to us, a blonde girl named Kelli her friend Jim. We hit it off so well that the next day they were driving us around rainy Portland showing us various sights, some more off the beaten track than others.
At one stage in her life Kelli found herself spending a lot of time at the Oregon Health & Science University Hospital. Her mother was suffering from cancer so regular visits to see her were routine. While it may sound odd that she decided to take us here, we were so grateful that she did because its something we will always remember.
This particular hospital is uniquely located atop a hill in a densely wooded area. There is a cable car that takes you up, through the trees, and gives you a fantastic view of Portland below. Kelli knew the hospital like the back of her hand and we strolled around trying to ignore the ‘hospital-ness’ of it all and enjoy the views, hot student doctors and the meaning behind her having taken us there.
This was 2011 when Kelli was blonde and slightly overweight. We became friends on Facebook and I have watched her transform her body and her life. I don’t know the details or much about the point at which she decided to take control and change her lifestyle. But she is almost unrecognizable today. Take an already bright and happy individual, some motivation, passion and hard work and you get what seems like an even more amazing human being than before.
Her progress status updates and pictures aren’t even annoying thanks to her sense of humour. Only Kelli can upload a photo from the gym and not only keep your eyes from rolling but have you laugh out loud too. It takes a well balanced person to not allow such a massive lifestyle change to consume you completely. Normal life (read- partying and living life in general) still continues for her.
I found this ‘before and after picture’ on Facebook with the following caption:
“I can’t even imagine myself as the girl on the left. I have changed in so many ways more than physical too. This is a lifestyle and I have 100 % fallen in love with it. Can’t wait to see what else I can accomplish! I’m not done :)”
Wow, what a transformation! :)
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Photo: Woody Wade
Definitely not his day! :)
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Versailles is a microcosm in itself. This French royal residence with impeccably executed gardens is a time capsule, which offers a passage to France of olden times. That unique France with a waft of the Franco-Norman traditions will paint the French aristocratic soul with exaggerated brush strokes. Till this day, France possesses this noble soul, but it became much more subtle-if-traceable in its expressions.
And back to Versailles. Take time. Breathe. Walk the garden. Get lost in its landscaped maze.
Go inside of the palace. Walk through the rococo-decorated room of Maria Antoinette. She was one of the most misunderstood queens. Anyway, she and her husband were the catalyst who changed French political landscape.
And, of course, please visit the Apollo room in the Versailles palace. The Apollo room is dedicated to French king Louis XIV, aka, “the Sun King.” Be prepared, the room may blind you with all that opulence. In fact, the Sun King was remembered for saying “After me, the deluge”, pretty much disdaining the little guy, and taking living in the moment to the whole new level. Ponder if that has changed much.
Great shots! :)
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The area in front of the Hotel de Ville was full of little gardens of wild flowers and sun loungers, part of some special exhibition and so unexpected in the centre of Paris, just gorgeous. Only a few minutes walk later and we were in front of the Notre Dame, I couldn’t believe it! Those of us new to Paris did the obligatory oohs and aahs and took miles of photos. I was quite surprised that the sixteen year olds were as interested and awe-struck as I was, but there you go, some things transcend age don’t they. We made our way back to the River Seine and the Ponte Neuf via a few other amazing but not quite so famous buildings.
Sitting among the wildflowers near Hotel de Ville
Wonderful shots, almost can’t go wrong in Paris! :)
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by eleonore mosimann
Your mind is a GPS, you have to tell it where you want to go so it can figure out a way to get there. Here is a very fun, creative and useful thing to do: a vision board collage. It’s the perfect way to finish this year and start fresh, by visualizing your goals and dreams for the year to come, universe will find a way to make it happen, you’ll see
How? Collect as many magazines as you can get on various subjects, go through it, cutting out words and images that appeal to you. Paste it with style so it has the most powerful meaning and impact on your subconscious (it means that sometimes you will have to follow your instinct and select a picture cause you feel you absolutely have to, even if you don’t know why, it will make sense later). It can take a few hours or a few weeks, just take all the time you need. When you’re done, hang it on the wall of your room, or anywhere you can see it daily.
When your goals and dreams are achieved, make a new one!
My last vision board (2012-2013)
My new one (achieved today for the year 2014)
Send me yours at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll publish the 10 best to celebrate the new year. Xx
Nice work, hope you get some more submissions! :)
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The Banjo Lesson- Henry Ossawa Tanner
First African American painter to include positive images of his own culture. I’m using this as the inspiration for my new painting. Can’t wait!
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just keeping afloat and inspired
(august rodin, taken at musée rodin)
Interesting work! :)
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Our first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower in Paris was at dusk before the lights were illuminated. We admired the tower for several minutes from the Champ de Mars. There were many people lounging in the grass, enjoying their wine with a view. This looked like a great idea so we came back the next night.
There is no bad view of the Eiffel Tower from the Champ de Mars. We easily found a great spot to relax for the evening. The tower grew brighter the later it got. Around 11 pm the lights sparkled for a few minutes, then again at midnight.
Great shot, don’t see that at night from there too often! :)
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laumiere; my 1st morning nemo by parisian roof with cold toes on cold bar in cold winter day, LOVE!
Great shot, how can you not love Paris? :)
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We are really taken with this series of photos by French photographer Maia Flore. Aptly titled “Sleep Elevations”, the series explores a sort of surreal dream scenario, with each piece featuring a young woman levitating in a sleep/dream state. Sure, sounds bizarre, but the work is oddly beautiful.
Unique and beautiful!
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Quintessential Paris & the embodiment of Parisian’s…
Sunday afternoon picnic along The Seine
Great shot, anywhere is a good place for a picnic! :)