Vive La France!

by Monographical Uk October. 30, 2018 185 views

My travels have taken me all around northern Europe and all across our nearest continental neighbour, France. From the northern coastline down to the hot and sunny region of Provence, I have been lucky enough to see it all.

I will now share some of my favourite images from my travels and hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed taking them.

Let's start with the capital city, Paris, the city of lights and the city of love. It's a place I have been to many times from being a wide eyed college student through to adulthood and it never fails to impress.

This image was taken stood on top of the Arc De Triomphe on a late autumn afternoon as the light was fading. It had been a lovely day in the city and the skyline looked quite amazing. The main boulevard in the centre is the Avenue Marceau with the Champs Elysees on the left.

The Eiffel Tower stands tall above the smaller buildings and you can see the Montparnasse Tower in the far distance - it really was special.

We move next to the west coast and into Brittany, a favourite destination for lots of UK tourists. There are lots of coastal towns along this stretch of the Atlantic, but we will focus on Concarneau, a major fishing port but also a place steeped in history.

The entrance to the fortified old town is quite striking with is huge rusty anchor forming a gateway over what would have been an old drawbridge - the thick stone walls really do provide the security that the inhabitants of that time demanded.

The small clock tower provides a fine decorative and practical touch to the walls.

At the border of Brittany and Normandy to the north lies another fortified citadel which is probably a little more famous than the old town of Concarneau.

The quite incredible Mont St Michel is a monster of construction, formally lying in Normandy it is located around a kilometer off the coast and is accessed via a road that can be cut off at high tide.

The River Couesnon runs out to the sea and forms the estuary around the citadel. Entrance is by a huge arched gateway and the small town winds its way up the hill to the impressive church on the very top.

Just a few miles along the same coast into Brittany you will find the ferry port of St Malo which also has a fortified old town - one of the things that I love about places like this is that they have developed over the years, but have always retained their connection to the old days.

St Malo and its old town in the summer is a busy place, with narrow cobbled streets thronging with tourists and locals alike.

Our final visit to the north coast, goes really north, about as north as you can get to the port city of Cherbourg-Octeville, a place that is a busy industrial area - there are a few tourist places, but this is very much a working port and a working city.

My image was taken from the hill overlooking the city and you can clearly see the port and all its sea defences, showing how harsh and tough this place can be when the weather turns bad.

All along this coastline you will see sea defences and protections, this is the coastline with the English Channel, the busiest shipping channel in the world and those ships need protection.

The huge lighthouse on the coast at Gatteville is one such protection, just a few miles along the coast from Cherbourg it stands proud out from the shore ready to protect. Dating back to 1775 it has served the country well.

Of course as with all such locations there is a smaller fortified building in front keeping a look out over the waters.

You can visit the lighthouse, which is the third tallest traditional lighthouse in the world and if you are fit enough you can walk up the 365 steps to the top - it's worth it as the views are quite incredible.

I have mentioned before about how I love how France develops but keeps a strong hold on its tradition and heritage and that is something we could all learn from.

However, France also is not afraid to take risks and build some striking pieces of practical architecture. Sometimes they catch you by surprise, other times you expect them, but I am always a fan of such work.

One such place which really did catch my eye and spark my imagination was the airport building in Lyon in the heart of the country, a mix of sweeping concrete, steel and glass.

We are now going south and leaving lots of the urban locations and going into Provence and area famous for its small hills and wonderful lush valleys.

Of course, Provence is also famous for its summer heat and this image captures all that makes the area what it is. The temperature was around 32 degrees and the mountains and valleys were covered in greenery and small flowers.

This area of France is in stark contrast to the northern coast!

A little further as you approach the south coast of the country the land flattens out and you can sense you are approaching the sea.

However, you are then caught out by my final destination - Le Geant de Provence or more commonly referred to as Mont Ventoux - its an absolute monster that climbs out of nowhere.

A favourite stage finish for the Tour de France it is quite epic in its sheer size and steepness. At around 22 km in length, most of which is done in the cover of a pine forest, the mountain then opens up into what can only be described as a lunar landscape up to the summit and the meteorological station and telecommunications mast.

I visited the mountain for the 2013 Tour de France and walked up to around half way to capture some amazing race images, but this is something I shot from lower down, to show the contrast from the top to the bottom.

I hope these images give you a feeling of what you can expect from France - it remains a favourite place of mine to visit, due to all the varied things you can see and also the varied temperatures that you can expect.

I will return, but for now, Vive La France!

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Giancarlo Fosci 1 year ago

Beautiful set!

1 year ago Edited
Nicole Bausman 1 year ago

These look like beautiful paintings, I enjoy your captures, editing and most of all your style. Very beautiful

1 year ago Edited
Monographical Uk Replied to Nicole Bausman 1 year ago

thanks very much!

1 year ago Edited
Heike 1 year ago

Funny, most of the places you showed in your photos, I also visited. I have been several times in different regions of france and loved it. I'm quite sure, I have somewhere a photo of the irish pub which can be seen in your St. Malo photo #4, but another perspective. Your photos brought back nice memories, thx!! smile

1 year ago Edited
Monographical Uk Replied to Heike 1 year ago

superb! I am pleased you liked the images.

1 year ago Edited
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