Every time I remember my first travel to France, I always smile and feel a bit proud. Sure, I did see all the landmarks and fell in love with the country, but I also had such an alluring agenda (made one myself!), that I would probably do all over again if I were to visit for the first time.
I was so excited while searching for apartments where the famous French artists lived in Paris in the 19th century, chasing spots which got painted by Vincent van Gogh in Arles and trying to escape that unusual tropical wave (that Europe was hit by back then) along Cote d’Azure… It was 2003, seems like ages ago!
It’s true that so many things can happen in almost a decade and a half. But the thing that I love about Europe is that (unlike Dubai or Singapore for example), you can be sure that significant places remain in their spots. Surroundings may change, but the location stays the same!
Bulky camera and films
And so, as often as I thought nowadays about describing my trip to Giverny or Arles and other places to visit in France, as impatient I got, since I knew it is going to be so special, one genuinely vintage series! Guys, I was still using one huge camera, that was heavy and so cumbersome to carry around. It also had the external flash unit, which was also big and heavy. And I had my camera films developed!
Never the less, there were a lot of beautiful photos, but also some totally unusable after developing, with yellow spots or they were just too blurry. (And I seem to have been especially fond of the vertical ones for some reason!)
And you know what? I am just going to scan them now! It will be one original journey to tell stories about, not just around France, but the journey through time!
I have spent almost a month in France then, being in Paris for couple of weeks and then hopping all around the country with a dear friend of mine – who got impatient from time to time and didn’t want to take the train along the Cote d’Azure and hop on and off to see “one more lovely French village” on the coast, but rather waited for me at the beach in Saint Tropez. While on the other hand, I just couldn’t miss the opportunity! Just imagine: you are at the French Riviera and at the time a daily train ticket was 10 euros, you could have hopped on and off as often as you wanted.
“Who knows when I am going to come again”, I was thinking, and so, “why not just see it all now!” Pretty ambitious, I will admit, but so doable. Believe me, I know, I did it!
Poetic and romantic
Anyway, being a journalist, I made sure to write about all those things I have seen in Paris, pointing out how thrilled I was to see that beautiful Rouen’s cathedral Claude Monet was crazy about, and to stroll along the Roman heritage sight Van Gogh was once passing by every day.
Still cherish those articles which I am going to quote through out this series. And believe me, I am having so much fun writing these lines and can’t wait to see how this French series is going to get all poetic, romantic, and well – vintage!
Next: TROPICALLY HOT PARIS (2)
The full France SERIES