Sunday, July 31, 2011

France - Nice. And a delightful Mystery.

 Statue in Place Massena... there must have been some festival going on here because those bikini girls behind this statue aren't there any longer.

When I went to Google Maps to see if I could find this statue I found this below...

 ... it looks like the same spot, it looks like the same buildings, it looks like the same statues sitting in the water... so I'm sure it is the same spot but why would they spurt water up and over the statue in the middle so you can't see it?

I was so perplexed that I Googled street walked all around the Place till I found the below... less water but Hey! no statue.

Now have I got the right place or not?  Our photo says Place Massena and this is Place Massena. 
 After a break away from the computer I came back and Googled 'Statues in Nice' and found the below from the 'Best of Nice Blog'

Banned from Place Massena in the ‘70’s for being overly well-endowed, the giant marble statue of Apollo is coming back.  The fountain that currently crowns Place Massena has lived a long and twisted story:  At its inauguration in 1956 there were the current five bronze statues, but also its crowning glory: a 7-meter high, 7-ton white marble statue of Apollo standing in the center. 

Click here for an American report on Apollo... check out what they've done to the picture :-)

How funny and delightful is this story eh!  I wonder why all the fuss, there are so many naked statues in Europe so why pick on this beautiful one?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

France - Nice.

La plage... looking West... looks a bit bleak in January 1969, same spot below today from Wiki.

La plage... looking East.

David wrote on this photo below... 'De Gaulle in mufti'
Do you think this man looks like De Gaulle?  LOL 
Why would Charles De Gaulle be walking down a street in Nice?  Aw well maybe he was practicing being one of the mob, he resigned his Presidency in the year we were there, on 28th April 1969.

Besides the sides... I think Charles De Gaulle looks like Jaques Tati LOL
 Or Jacques Tati looks like Charles De Gaulle?
 Nice Harbour.  (Actually I don't mean 'nice' harbour... maybe I should have written 'The Harbour of Nice!'
Gosh it looks like a lot of building is going on down on the waterfront.

That is one massive boat down there today.

Friday, July 29, 2011

France - Nimes - Avignon - Marseille.

Pennie at the La Maison Carree, Nimes in 1969 and today from Wiki.

David at La Maison Carree in 1968.

From Wiki - La Maison Carree is an ancient building in Nimes,  it is one of the best preserved temples to be found anywhere in the territory of the former Roman Empire, built in 16BC.  It underwent restoration between 1988–1992, during which time it was re-roofed and the square around it was cleared, revealing the outlines of the forum. Sir Norman Foster was commissioned to build a modern art gallery, known as the Carré d'Art, on the far side of the square, to replace the city theatre of Nîmes, which had burnt in 1952. This provides a startling contrast to the Maison Carrée but renders many of its features, such as the portico and columns, in steel and glass. The contrast of its modernity is thus muted by the physical resemblance between the two buildings, representing architectural styles 2000 years apart.  

Well I don't know about all that, I much prefer the building that was there before that steel and glass one below.

I don't know what year Google Maps was there but today's photo shows more restoration in progress.
Beautiful isn't it, looks unreal after it's restoration.  (photo from Wiki)

Palis de Papes, Avignon.  You can see me sitting in the front here, this Taxi had had a conversion which obviously allowed a second person to sit in the Cabin... I'd forgotten about that.

Marseille in 1969 showing the beautiful Cathedrale Sainte Marie-Majeure.

From about the same spot as above with the Cathedrale almost hidden.
 But I found it  :-)  on Wiki of course.  Isn't it beautiful and different to many we've already seen.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Spain - Barcelona.

After a night surrounded by Olive trees we're waking up, making breakfast, folding up the bedding before heading further East.

On the road again heading towards Barcelona.

Barcelona Maritime Museum.

Christopher Columbus Memorial above in 1969, today from Google Maps.

Cathedral La seu, Barcelona... undergoing restoration now.

Barcelona train above in 1969 and below today a Barcelona-Madrid train.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Spain - Alicante - Valencia.

 Why am I sitting in the cabin like this -  backwards?

 Beautiful Alicante, early in the morning just after the one mile long mosaic pavement had been hosed down.

 I'd forgotten it was this colourful... that's the problem with black and white photos isn't it.  From Google Maps today.

Trams in Alicante.

 A Religious procession right near the Valencia Cathedral.

 From Google Maps above the same spot as those black and white photos of ours and below showing just how beautiful the Valencia Cathedral is.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Spain - La Garrofa.

The next night we found a beaut camping site at La Garrofa which is still there and is the beach where we enjoyed our first swim in the Mediterranean.

We met our first South African couple camping here at La Garrofa and we heard our first South African accent.  We'd met many young people in the Youth Hostels we'd stayed in but never a South African and we didn't meet any more, many Aussies, many Americans but not many from other countries. That first meeting sticks in my mind for some reason.

Also we learnt how to impress obnoxious Americans at this camping site, we only wanted to impress/annoy  the obnoxious ones not the majority who were just delightful.  David had an Uncle who lived in Carmel, California and we were planning to visit him sometime, all we knew of California was a little of L.A. and San Francisco,  we knew nothing of Carmel but we discovered if we dropped the 'Carmel' word those obnoxious ones eyes shot up and they were impressed... very impressed, impressed enough to shut up and to stop boasting about how much better everything was in the US :-)  So we were now armed with a powerful weapon  LOL  and dear reader I have to tell you... we used it whenever necessary.  (Of course it was almost two years before we found ourselves in Carmel to find out what all the fuss was about... if you haven't been there, it is indeed a beautiful classy and expensive part of California.)

Checking oil and water before leaving La Garrofa.
Below from Google Maps... it looks just the same as I remember except for the motorway maybe, actually there isn't much room for expansion here, not like most of the other towns near the sea.

Postcards - Sevilla, Spain - 17.1.1969

Sevilla - Roman Ruins Santiponce
To:- Dudu (David's Grandmother) Killara, NSW. 2071.  17/1/1969

Dear Dudu,
     Rather a while since any news, we are going well, had a spell of VERY wet weather which rather spoiled Portugal for us, but Lisbon was superb, all so clean and well planned and the whole country alive with gum trees.  Had a leak in the fuel tank repaired in a tiny Portuguese village in the rain, with half the village spectating for 50 escudos (15/-) Mediterranean beaches so far are disappointing - all black sand.  P.T.O. is near where we were yesterday.  All going well, although the taxi is falling to bits on the rough roads.  Much love P & D XX

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Spain - Santiponce - Antequera - Motril.

Italica Ampitheatre near Santiponce.  See below just how enormous this Ampitheatre is, Wiki tells me it was built in 1AD and seated 25,000 people which it appears isn't large for an Ampitheatre.

Somewhere around Santiponce we had more trouble with 'Tabitha',  a blockage in the fuel line which was probably stirred up with the repairs of the fuel tank in Castro Verde.

David's notes say:-  'Breakdown fr. airlock in line, Fr. gent & birds to rescue.'

My translation is:-  'Tabitha' broke down because of an airlock in the fuel line, thankfully a French gentleman with a couple of ladies on board stopped and helped us.'  :-)

Antequera on route to Malaga.   Just look at my plaits!!  What am I?  a 16 year old?  I do remember my long hair was causing problems as bathing was at it's minimal because we spent most nights camped beside the road... plaits it was.

Malaga was a bit of a surprise, it was the first time we were truly on the Mediterranean Sea, it was warming up and we were really looking forward to a swim but Malaga had been discovered by the English Tourist and we found it hard to find real Spanish food because so many Cafe's advertised Fish and Chips, Fried Eggs and Chips and so on.  Very funny really but not our type of town so we continued along coast heading East.

One night we settled down for the night well off the coast road in the middle of nowhere.  There was hardly any traffic and no houses around.  The weather was warmer so we kept our windows open but closed the curtains and we were soon asleep.  Around 2am we were both woken by the sound of motor bikes surrounding us, they stopped, David and I froze I didn't know if he was awake, he didn't know if I was awake.  Male voices were heard then a curtain was lifted and torches shone in, we stayed frozen, then a torch was shone in the cabin.  David sat up and said 'Hoy!'  

The men turned out to belong to the Spanish Guardia. David, who is good at languages kept saying... Mañana Valencia :-)  he did say a little more as well,  they soon got the message and left us alone. 

After this incident we decided to seek the Guardia out and ask where a good place to settle for the night would be. 

The next night we were near Motril and found two young lads who took us to this exposed pebble beach which wasn't ideal but we were happy enough. But then... we couldn't get rid of them.  We started setting up our beds and sleeping bags and they were amazed having never seen a sleeping bag before.  They stayed and stayed... eventually David gave them a packet of cigarettes each and said the words he'd learnt got rid of Guardia and that was...  Mañana - what ever the next town was and they reluctantly left us alone.

Below from Google Maps is similar to where we were camped for the night.
 I also found a photo of their funny shiny hats... :-)

Friday, July 22, 2011

Spain - Sevilla

View over Sevilla from the top of the Cathedral.
Sevilla Cathedral from Google
Orange trees in the centre of the Cathedral,  I couldn't believe how the streets and squares of Sevilla were lined with fruiting Orange Trees, I also couldn't believe why nobody was picking them and eating them so I very sneakily picked an Orange and tried to eat it... I then understood why nobody picked the Oranges... Oh so bitter!  Probably great for Marmalade.
From Google Maps
What a beautiful Cathedral.
Our photo above taken in 1969 and todays photo from Google Maps.